help support the project

You can help support the project by buying the book on Amazon

Lowdown on the upland of MarBooks sales directly support the project - read more about the book or download a sample

Powered by Squarespace

Robbie 'Piper'

Coille Phìobair from Allt Shlat - 5th January 2011

I am continually surprised at how a few pieces of upland of Mar lore and a few facts from the archives can be brought together to tell us something about people born in a remote glen more than 100 years ago.

For example, in the upland of Mar lore it is known that the name of the birch wood in Gleann Eidh at NO098857 is Pipers' Wuid (Pipers' Wood) - or Coille Phìobair in Gaelic.  In the upland of Mar lore it is also known that the name of the wood is derived from the bye-name of the last tenants of the farm, on which the wood stands, the 'Piper' Lamonts.

In the Braemar Graveyard a stone bears the inscription :

... Robert Lamont who died at Bourtree Cottage Inverey 21st Dec 1930 aged 90 years his wife Catherine Thomson died 5th February 1939

In the upland of Mar lore, this Robert Lamont is known as Robbie 'Piper' and he was the last of the 'Pipers' to be born in Gleann Eidh and may even have been the last surviving person to have been born in the glen.

In 1841, the census of that year shows Robert (1) living with his father Donald Lamont (65), mother Isobel McGregor (45),  brothers and sisters Charles (15), Barbara (15), John (13), Anne (9), James (7) living at 'Dalnafae' or Dail nam Fiadh in Gaelic.

About 1842, Gleann Eidh was cleared of its tenant farmers and the 'Pipers' were removed to the village of Inverey to start again.

In 1851, the census of that year shows Robert (11) living with his father, a farmer of 5-acres, and his mother in Inverey.  Although the census of 1851 does not record farm names, but it did make a distinction between those children who were 'Schollars' and those who were not.  In spite of the fact that there were two schools in Inverey in 1851 the census shows that the eleven-year-old Robert was not attending school.

In 1861, the census of that year shows Robert (21) living in the household of Barbara Gruer (42), a farmer of 12-acres in Inverey.  Again the census of 1861 does not record farm names, but it did record employment and shows Robert as being a Servant - presumably a farm-servant.

In 1871, the census of that year shows Robert (30) living in the household of his brother Charles (49), a farmer of 4 1/2-acres in Inverey.  Again the census of 1871 does not record farm names, but it did record employment and shows Robert as being a Gardener.  Since it's unlikely the people of Inverey had need of a professional gardener it seems likely that Robert was had started working at Mar Lodge.

In 1881, the census of that year shows Robert (40) living alone at 'Corriemulzie'.  Again the census of 1881 does not always record farm or house names, but it did record employment and shows Robert as being a Gardener.

In 1891, the census of that year shows Robert (50) living at 'Aultchlair' with Catherine Thomson (23).  The census of 1891 again records employment and shows Robert as being a Gardener and Catherine as being his Housekeeper.

In 1897, Robert (56) and Catherine Thomson (30), both living at 'Alt-clar', were married in Aberdeen on the 7th of January and on the 17th of March Constance Rebekah Thomson Lamont was born at 'Altclar'.

In 1911, the census of that year shows Robert (71) living with Catherine (45), and Constance (14) in Inverey.  Again the census of 1911 does not always record farm or house names (although it's probable they were living at Bourtree Cottage), but it did record employment and shows Robert as being a Crofter.

In the Braemar Graveyard another stone bears the inscription :

... Constance R. Lamont who died 4th December 1978 aged 81 years

This potted biography isn't about Constance and her family, but my mind boggles at the realisation that had I been a little more interested in the oldies of Braemar in the 1970s I might have known the daughter of Robbie 'Piper' of Dail nam Fiadh, Gleann Eidh.

There's an interesting footnote to this potted biography in McPherson (1930) - where the author writes :

Donald married a Miss McGregor, a native of Speyside. He rented a farm called Dalnafae, in Glen Ey. They had three sons, Charles, John, and Robert, and two daughters, Barbara and Annie. All died unmarried except Robert ...

It's interesting that John McPherson does not mention the son James.  He doesn't appear to be living in Inverey at the time of the 1851 census ; which suggests that he'd either died or left the area by then.

Know something I don't - tell me