Sunday, 14 December 2014

Family Rivalries (Part One)

While the most powerful competing families in Angus for several centuries were the Ogilvys and the Lindsays, several less numerous kindred groups developed an antipathy towards each other at various times.  One family, the Gardens or Gardynes, were at loggerheads with their neighbours the Guthries.
   In 1578, Patrick Gardyne of Gardyne Castle was stabbed to death by his cousin, William Guthrie of Guthrie Castle.  A decade later the Guthrie chief was murdered by the Gardynes, and within two years the head of the latter family was himself slain.  King James VI eventually forfeited both families.
   Near Craig, on the lonely road from Alyth to Milnacraig in Glen Isla, there was once a small enclosed graveyard which had the reputation of being haunted.  One of the Crightons of Cluny was buried here.  He was murdered by the young laird of Lochblair in revenge for Cluny killing his father.  After the first death Cluny was warned by a ghostly voice:
                                        O! woe to thee Cluny,
                                        why killed you Lochblair?
                                        For anither Lochblair
                                        is sure to kill you.

   The lands of Cluny later became an Ogilvy property.  One of this family was a proud, quick tempered man, a fine shot, who was unfortunately prone to insulting someone at every social gathering he attended, even if it was a funeral. One day Ogilvy of Cluny and a man named Coupar were travelling through the hilly district of northern Perthshire called the Stormont.  The pair argued and Cluny shot the man, then fled to his house in Glen Isla, the Craig, which he tried to fortify.  When a party of armed men came searching for him a few days later, Ogilvy escaped and his in a cave in the gorge of the River Isla, near the Reekie Linn waterfall.  But he got no peace here, for in the dead of night he saw the Devil, in the shape of a black dog, scamper up the cliffs opposite his hiding place.  Ogilvy then fled to the Hebrides.  The murdered man's daughter was eventually persuaded to accept compensation, after which Ogilvy of Cluny was able to return home.
   Ogilvy of Cluny was also interred in the graveyard near Craig.  He told his friends to bury him in a lonely place, along with his weapons and armour, and that his best horse and greyhound should be slaughtered and interred alongside him. His reason was that he should be able to rise at the Last Trumpet, mount his steed, and be ready for war or the chase.  It is not known whether his friends followed his instructions, but Ogilvy is there, still waiting for Judgement Day.

   On the eastern side of Tullo Hill, Menmuir is the Mansworn (i.e. Perjured) Rig.  It received its name after a dispute between two landowners.  Both men brought witnesses to the place to swear that the land belonged to their respective masters.  One servant swore to God that he was standing on his employer's ground, which so enraged the Laird of Balhall that he pulled a pistol from his belt and shot the man dead.  When the body was examined it was found that he had filled his shoes with soil taken  from his master's land so that he could truthfully swear his oath.

                                                          Guthrie Castle

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