A letter to James Farquharson, 3rd of Balmoral
In 1726 James Erskine, Lord Grange wrote a letter to James Farquharson, 3rd of Balmoral (factor) confirming his instructions to 'eject' the farmers living in Gleann Laoigh. In writing this letter he was acting on behalf of himself and David Erskine, Lord Dun. In 1724 they had bought, from the government, the lands forfeited by John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar. He wrote the letter on the 15th September 1726, and we are fortunate that this letter was quoted in Michie (1901) - I assume the original is still among the Invercauld Papers. Here is the body of that letter as quoted by him :
I have just now yours of the 12th with the Bearer, who has brought the Deer you sent. I'm glad you are gone to meet with Pitodrie and Overhall, and doubt not but you will adjust that matter among you, and therefor I need not say any more of it.
As to Glenluy, Ld. Dun and I find your Letter of the 26th of August at this place when we came to it last Week. The Directions formerly given as to the ejection are so particular that we need only refer to them, and we desire you to act according to them, and to eject those people after their harvest is over. You may call for George Farquharson of Corlarach, Andrew Farquharson, Auldlairg, James Shaw of Daldouny, Donald Farquharson of Micras and such other discreet men as you see proper to assist in the ejection ; and, as was formerly written, the more you have along with you there will be the less opposition, these people perceiving it to be vain for them to resist As I also wrote before, regard not at that time impertinenceys so as to be provoked to do any thing but what belongs to the Ejection, only you may observe and notice such Impertinenceys, if any be offered, and since you are to have people with you, there will be no want of proof, and ------ punish that Impertinency afterwards in fit season. There are two purposes to be served by this Ejection : that the posession of the Land may no longer be usurped, and, the posession being restored, that the due manadgement of the Woods may meet with no obstruction, and that the Land may be ordered so as is proper for carrying on the Improvement and sale of the Timber ; next, that people may see they are not to be suffered in their illegal Insolence, nor dream that by such doings they can continue their usurpations. And if, by trusting to such methods any of these people come to find themselves unprovided, they have themselves to blame who were legally warned and who have notwithstanding of their Insolence [been] indulged to sit till now ; and they deserve to suffer. However, our view is not Revenge against them but to have the estate presently put in a right way, and that the Country may be duely governed.
It will be in vain for James Mcenzie to pretend that he does not countenance them : they are there as his Tenants, and surely none of them can be so stupid as to immagine they may continue there as our Tennants spite of our Teeth ; And Mcenzie's folly is very great in not freeing us from all trouble in ejecting them, after he has been so often told, even by his own best friends, that he has no Right and has taken wrong measures. I do not see that you need other assistance than such as is above mentioned ------ You know how the General was spoke to for more arms, and informed of the unequal foot we were put upon with our Neighbours. He still affirmed that D. Gordon has but 10 for all his Country, and that any more he got was by the undue dealling of certain persons who were trusted with Licences to give out on occasion. He is very angry at this Abuse, and also at his being imposed upon to give Warrants to such as Dallmore, and is to rectify all before he return to England. He would not be perswaded to give us any but 4 more than we got formerly, which in all make eight, and, if he rectify the Abuses, which he was positively resolved to do, our Neighbours will not find themselves better armed than we are. These 4 new Warrants are at Edinburgh in Major Erskine's hands, from whom I every day expect them that they may be sent to you. You desire a new order for the Ejection that may be shown to Dallmore [a whole line is here scored out] which I was going to write and enclose, but I am interrupted and care not to detain the Bearer any longer. You have the former order which is sufficient, and you may show Dallmore such parts of this Letter as concerns him, and further tell him that his causing these people remove without puting you or us to more trouble is the best step he can make after some that have not been oblidging. Invercauld said he would have a summe to lend at Martimass next. Ld. Dun and I will have use for it for the affairs of Ld. Erskine. I pray you give him my humble service, and desire to know whether we may depend on it and what the summe will be, which we want to be soon acquainted of.