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Tales from the Past

Fionnladh Mor Farquharson

One evening about dusk, a stranger came to claim the hospitality of Invercauld. He was wrapt in a wide cloak, and covered with a slouched kind of brigand hat – rather an ugly customer, one would have taken him to be, the more so as he seemed desirous of concealing his person as much as possible. In the Highlands, a claim of this kind could not be refused, and the lady, with no very good grace, went about preparing supper. During these doings, Finlay cam home, and, after a brief inspection of the physiognomy of his guest, as far as visible, gave a quiet hint to his wife to mend her manners, which she rather reluctantly did. The best cheer that could be afforded was provided for the hungry stranger, who did full justice to the dainties put before him and retired to rest the happiest of men after a few bumpers of the "native. Next morning Finlay accompanied him on his way a long distance, showing him how to attain Strathaven by the Bealach Dearg and Inchrory route. The two discoursed, as they went, of Finlay’s present standing and future prospects, of Rothiemurchus’ claim to the lands, and so on, and parted with professions of mutual esteem. Some months after, a letter, sealed with the royal seal, was forwarded to Invercauld, creating the laird Royal Standard-Bearer for Scotland, confirming to him the possession of all his property, and making over to him, besides, what remained of crown-rights in Braemar, in consideration of the hospitality shown to his Majesty – for no less a person had the quest been.

(Taken from "Legends of the Braes O’ Mar"
by John Grant, published 1876. )

Footnote: A. M. Mackintosh records that Finlay Mor, whom he gives as the real founder of the Clan Farquharson, was said to have been killed at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547 while carrying the royal standard. He also writes that some deny the latter part of the statement "unless the standard bearer happening to fall he snatched it (the standard) up". This battle, fought by the Scots against the English during the "rough wooing", was a sorrow defeat for the former but of little advantage to the latter for it only precipitated the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots to the Dauphin of France. –(Editor, Clan Chattan UK Journal, in which this excerpt appeared: VOL. XI, No. 3, 2003)


Last Update: April 2005