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The Bailie’s Great Adventure
Or
Grant vs Fife

Who's Who

Where known, ages at the time of the political upheaval
are shown in brackets after the person’s name

------ Longmoore, one of the crowd attending Taylor’s abduction tried to stop Hugh Thomson passing at the Bridge of Bishopmill on the morning of the abduction.

The coaching stop at Forres, known as Loudon’s Inn, was run by David Loudon (42), Farmer & Hotelkeeper; Loudon’s Inn, in 1830 was sold to Hugh Duff McQueen; located at 54 High Street, Forres - it is now a supermarket.

James McDonald, Seaman living in Burghead, and William Dick, also there, were boatmen in the craft that conveyed Taylor and his party across the Moray Firth to the Sutherland; it was alleged Christian Shaw, McDonald’s wife, said it was William Young of Maryhill who hired Taylor’s boat - an allegation later denied, on his return from Brora, by her husband.

John McKain (36), Carter, Elgin; accompanied the young Francis Taylor when he returned to the family home to inform his mother about his father’s abduction; died at Elgin on 11th March 1844, aged 60 years, and was interred in the burying ground of Elgin Cathedral.

------ McKain, Farmer, Elgin; was present at the foot of the Shambles Wynd (Lossie Wynd) on the morning Taylor was abducted; spoke with James Grant, Heathfield, Wester Elchies.

John McKenzie (30), Innkeeper, Elgin; kept the inn at which coaches would stop in Elgin; may formerly have worked at the ‘Adam & Eve’ public house, Forres and was a sometime gardener; during the disruption, the councillors favouring the Fife cause held meetings at McKenzie’s Inn, where the Earl of Fife kept an open table for them and their supporters; these councillors going as far as sleeping in a body at his house for several nights during the political struggle; died at Elgin on 24th September 1854, aged 64 years, and was interred in the burying ground of Elgin Cathedral; located at 100 High Street (96-98 High Street in earlier street-numbering systems) McKenzie’s Inn became the Earl of Fife Arms and then the Fife Arms hotel - now an optician’s shop.

On the way to Burghead, the party carrying the bailie and his son stopped at a house in New Duffus kept by William McKimmie and his wife, Elizabeth Russell (the mother of James Farquhar, one of accused); William McKimmie, son of William McKimmie, was the occupier of the house at which Taylor and his captors stopped in Hopeman.

Thomas McLachlan, Vintner and Innkeeper, Elgin; owned the chaise that took Francis Taylor from Elgin to Burghead; later declared had not been paid for hire of carriage and deducted the amount due from account of James Cattanach, Cartwright, Elgin because he considered Cattanach liable; had repeatedly asked Cattanach for payment, which he always evaded saying a person would come by some morning and give him, McLachlan, a dram and pay the hire.

William Miller, Tailor, Elgin; worked for the Fife cause delivering intimations of meetings.

Robert Mitchell (31), Weaver, Elgin; sent ahead by Taylor’s captors when at Hopeman to see the coast was clear at Burghead.

At Forres, Taylor was in fear of losing the precept; for safe-keeping, he asked William Mitchell (41), Bailie, Forres, to take possession of the document.

Alexander More (59), Blacksmith, Elgin; allegedly involved in the hire of the chaise that took Taylor and his abductors from Elgin to Burghead.

John Muterer (39), Merchant and Bailie of Forres, Laird of Lingiestown; entertained Taylor during his stop at Forres when making his way back to Elgin; son of Robert Muterer, Merchant in Forres and Jean Brander, baptised at Forres on 17th August 1781; died at Forres, 6th November 1838, aged 57 years.

John Ogilvie, one of the crowd attending Taylor’s abduction may have struck John Ross, Taylor’s Shopman (Male Shop Assistant) at the Bridge of Bishopmill on the morning of the abduction.

John Reid, Farmer in Loanhead of Kintrea, Parish of Quarrywood or New Spynie; travelled to Burghead on the day Dick and Taylor were abducted; thought to have been sent to Burghead in order to prevent a rescue, in case such might have been attempted.

James Rhind, Bookseller, Elgin; objected to allowing John Ross to speak to Taylor when at Bishopmill on the morning of the bailie’s abduction.

John Ross, Clerk or Shopman (Male Shop Assistant) in Francis Taylor’s business in Elgin; on hearing of Taylor’s abduction, and with Alexander Adam and Hugh Thompson, sped across to Bishopmill, where he saw his employer at Bishopmill on the morning of the abduction; was struck by one of crowd when passing at the Bridge of Bishopmill.

John Ross, Grieve, Main, Elgin; told Taylor, after his return from Sutherland, some of Patrick Sellar’s involvement at Brora.

Thomas Ross, Mason, Bishopmill; worked for the Fife cause delivering intimations of meetings.

Alexander Russell, Merchant, Elgin; very much involved the abductions of Dick and Taylor; was at Hopeman and Burghead with Taylor; went to Brora to meet with Taylor there; travelled back to Elgin at same time as Taylor and his son; described as “an old soldier” and a “very violent man”; considered for indictment, but not so.

Thomas Russell (44), Wright, Elgin; allegedly involved in the hire of the chaise that took Taylor and his abductors from Elgin to Burghead.

While at Sutherland, Taylor and his captors stayed at an inn kept by James Scott, Vintner, Brora (the father-in-law of Christie, one of the accused) a native of Elgin; during his stay there, Taylor visited Elizabeth Keith, the wife of Charles Sutherland and daughter of William Keith, minister of Golspie; Alexander Russell met with Taylor at Brora, bringing him a change of clothes from ------ Craig, Farmer in Sutherland, and a nephew of William Young of Maryhill.

Patrick Sellar of Westfield (40), Law Agent and Laird of Westfield; son of Thomas Sellar of Westfield and Jean Plenderleath, baptized 17th December 1780, Elgin; joined his father in business about the year 1803; succeeded him as Procurator Fiscal in 1806, which office he held until 1810; like his father, preferred agricultural pursuits to following the legal profession; in 1811, accepted the office of Factor on the Estates of the Marchioness of Stafford in the county of Sutherland; succeeded his father in the estate of Westfield in 1817; in 1817, resigned the office of Factor on the Sutherland Estates and during the remainder of his life followed sheep and arable farming in the counties of Elgin, Sutherland and Argyle; married to Anne Craig of Barmuckity, at Barmuckity on 17th November 1818, parents of Thomas, Robert, William Young, Patrick Francis Alexander, John Alexander & Alexander Craig; died at Park Place, Elgin on 28th October 1851, aged 70 years, and was interred in the burying ground of Elgin Cathedral.

Alexander Simpson (46), Shoemaker, Elgin; worked for the Fife cause delivering intimations of meetings; later Town Officer and Town Crier and gaoler in Elgin; in 1830 dismissed for allowing prisoners to escape from Elgin Gaol, being intoxicated on duty and allowing drunken visitors; died at Elgin on 20th February 1843, aged 69 years, and was interred in the burying ground of Elgin Cathedral.

On his journey home to Elgin, Francis Taylor and his son stayed at Cant’s Inn, Inverness, an establishment run by one William Cant where he met with his friend and old acquaintance Donald Smith, Collector of Customs at Inverness.

Alexander Sutherland (29) of Rosevalley, estate factor for Sir Archibald Dunbar; son of Erick Sutherland, Farmer, Rosevalley; Taylor’s captors had thought of transporting him to Rosevalley, but decided against that idea since Sutherland was Dunbar’s estate factor and Taylor might not be safe there; died at Shempston, Duffus on 20th December 1852, aged 61 years, interred Duffus (Old) burying ground.

Major Alexander Francis Tayler of Monaughty (56), Laird of Rothiemay; Fife party (disputed) delegate at the 1820 Election (voted for Alexander Duff); married Lady Jane Duff, sister of the Earl of Fife, in 1802; died at Rothiemay House, 26th September 1854, aged 89 years.

Hugh Rose Thomson (19), Clerk or Shopman (Male Shop Assistant) in William Gauldie’s business in Elgin; on hearing of Taylor’s abduction, and with Alexander Adam and John Ross, sped across to Bishopmill, where he saw Taylor at Bishopmill on the morning of the abduction; in later life he became a banker & bank agent for the Caledonian Bank; died at Garmouth on 17th August 1854, aged 53 years, interred Essil Churchyard.

James Thomson (38), Writer, Elgin; William Young of Maryhill, John Lawson of Oldmills, Alexander Cowie and Alexander Brown were thought to have met at the offices of James Thomson; a short time after the upheaval, replaced Patrick Duff as Clerk to the Incorporation of Tailors and , likewise, the Incorporation of Weavers; died at Elgin 30th January 1828, aged 46 years, interred churchyard of Dipple.

John Turner (33), Surgeon, Elgin; very active in the Fife cause; described as well qualified to take his degree as ‘Doctor of Politics’; warned off George Findlay and George Grant outside McKenzie’s Inn on the Saturday night; died 24 February 1826, aged 39 years, and was interred in the burying ground of Elgin Cathedral.

Margaret Urquhart or Anderson (54) appears in the precognition, describing some of the events of early on the Saturday morning when Taylor was abducted; the wife of Alexander Anderson (54), Gardener at Grant Lodge in Elgin.

On the day on which Taylor was carried off, John Watt, one of Lord Fife’s Factors at Nethercluny of Mortlach was on a visit at Oldmills; suspected of acting as intermediator, distributing money to the abductors of Dick and Taylor

Alexander Winchester, one of the crowd attending Taylor’s abduction may have tried to hold back Alexander Adam, Taylor’s Shopman (Male Shop Assistant) at the Bridge of Bishopmill on the morning of the abduction.

George Winchester (53), Servant at Grant Lodge, Elgin. Winchester spoke to Francis Taylor shortly after 8 o’clock on the morning of the abduction; remained a servant of the Grant family at Grant Lodge, latterly becoming gate-keeper; died there on 19th March 1843, aged 76 years, and was interred in the burying ground of Elgin Cathedral.

William Young (56) of Maryhill, laird of Burghead and Inverugie; son of Alexander Young and Marjory McWilliam, baptized 20th January 1764, Glass, Aberdeenshire; supporter of the Fife cause; reputed to have paid for the hire of the boats used to carry Dick and Taylor across the Moray Firth to Sutherland; thought to have been a spectator at Burghead when the boats carrying their captive set off; died at Maryhill, Elgin on 20th March 1842, aged 78 years, and was interred in the burying ground of Elgin Cathedral.

 

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