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[A.D. 1621]

BY THE REVEREND MR JOHN MATHESON

 

The Celtic, and original name of this parish, is Cilmoir or Cilmary, Cellamarie, a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, or so called in order of some lady of that name, by whom it was built and endowed.  GO TO PAGE

 

The only remains of antiquity that stood in this parish, were last year removed.  In the place of Delny, once a principal seat of the Earls of Ross, stood the ruins of a Romish chapel on a pleasant bank surrounded by graves.  This spot has been deserted as a burying place for many years; and the present farmer (not adverting to the impropriety of such a measure) carried away all the stones to build his farm house, and the rubbish to meliorate his land and ploughed up the burying ground, with an intention to make it an addition to a corn field.  The present incumbent, having heard of this species of , sacrilege, visited the spot, and found it covered with the bones of the dead, turned up by the plough.  The indelicacy of his conduct was represented to the farmer; abd he was persuaded to collect the reliques, and to deposit them again in the earth; and he solemnly engaged to draw lines round the sacred spot to erect a stone in the middle with suitable inscription, to sow down the spot with grass seeds, and never moreto disturb the manes of his fathers.  GO TO PAGE

 

A sea-faring man died last spring in the parish, who, though he did know with certainty the year that gave him birth, yet, from remarkable eras and events remembered by him it was easy to determine that he surpassed 100 years of age.  He had a faint remembrance of the famine that prevailed in Scotland in the close of the last century; and saw a common coffin with hinges upon it, made on purpose for burying the people that perished on the highways for want of food.  He was 65 years an elder of this church.  GO TO PAGE

Transcribed from the STATISTICAL ACCOUNTS of SCOTLAND ONLINE with the kind permission of © EDINA

1296 The name of Roger of Foderingeye, Vicar of Kilmuir, appears as having sworn fealty to Edward I. of England in the year 1296, which indicates the ancient ecclesiastical connection of the parish.
   
1474 In 1474 Jas. of Werk or Weik appears as parson.
   
1560 At the Reformation George Dunbar filled the office of Vicar.
   
1569 In 1569 James VI presented Wm. Ross to the vicarage, vacant by by the decease of Alex. Sutherland.
   
1572 The reader in 1572 was Donald Reid, and in 1574 and 1575, Neil Munro, which latter was in 1575 presented to the vicarage by James VI.
   
1585 John Ross, translated from Logie-Easter in 1585; subsequently returned to Logie Easter.
   
1630 Alexander Hossack, admitted prior to 8th February, 1630.
   
1655 James M'Culloch, A.M., admitted before 28th August, 1655; continued 25th January 1671.
   

1690

Mr Donald Forbes, M. A., Incumbent of Kilmuir-Easter, was admitted prior to the 25th April, 1690.  He was suspended by the Presbytery on the 31st May, 1699, for error, ignorance and supine negligence, and for disregarding this sentence he was deposed at Kilmuir-Easter on the 8th June thereafter.  This sentence of the Presbytery was confirmed by the Commission of the Assembly at Tain on the 19th July, 1700.  Mr Forbes was succeeded to the charge by

 

 

1701

Mr Daniel MacGilligan, Preacher of the Gospel, who was ordained at admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 25th September, 1701.  Mr MacGilligan was translated to Alness on the 24th September, 1714, and was succeeded by

 

 

1715

Mr Walter Ross, Preacher of the Gospel, who was ordained and admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 15th September, 1715.  Mr Ross died at Kilmuir-Easter on the 29th December, 1733,and was succeeded by

 

 

1734

Mr John Porteous, M. A., Preacher of the Gospel, who was ordained and admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 27th November, 1934.  Mr Porteous died at Kilmuir-Easter on the 17th January, 1777, and was succeeded by

 

 

1775

Mr John Matheson, Missionary Minister on the Heights of Kincardine and Creich who was admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 22nd September, 1755.  Mr Matheson died at Kilmuir-Easter on the 19th April, 1814, and was succeeded by his son,

 

 

1814

Mr Charles Ross Matheson, M. A., Minister of the Gaelic Church, Edinburgh, who was admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 22nd September, 1814.  Mr. Matheson seceded on the 24th May, 1843, and was succeeded by

   

1843

Mr Daniel MacBride, Preacher of the Gospel, was ordained and admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 21st September 1843.  Mr MacBride was translated to Little Dunkeld on the 27th February, 1851, and was succeeded by

 

 

1851

Mr William MacPherson, M. A., Preacher of the Gospel, who was ordained and admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 11th September, 1851.  Mr MacPherson died at Kilmuir-Easter on the 1st January, 1866, and was succeeded by

 

 

1866

Mr Donald Stuart, M. A., Preacher of the Gospel, who was ordained and admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 20th September, 1866.  Mr Stuart demitted his charge on 25th January, 1900, and was succeeded by

 

 

1900

Mr Henry Reid Chalmers, Minister of Clova, Forfarshire, was admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 22nd May, 1900.  Mr. Chalmers was translated to Duffus, Elgin, on the 3rd January, 1907, and was succeeded by

 

 

1907

Mr Dugall MacCallum, M. A., Preacher of the Gospel, who was ordained and admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on the 14th May, 1907.  Mr MacCallum was translated to Campbeltown (Kintyre) on 13th February, 1914, and was succeeded by

   

1914

Mr John Campbell M’Naught, B. D., Minister of Kinlochluihart (Dingwall), who was admitted Minister of Kilmuir-Easter on 21st July, 1914.

   

25TH September, 1701

The Presbytery met at Kilmuir-Easter on the 25th September, and entered on the consideration of the affair of Mr Daniel MacGilligan, which had been referred to this meeting.  Mr MacGilligan was called to Kilmuir-Easter, but refused to accept the charge in respect that there was no manse, no stipend, and no glebe in Kilmuir-Easter.   A Committee of Presbytery was appointed to confer with Mr MacGilligan, and report to the meeting on 25th September.  The Committee reported that Mr MacGilligan was so far satisfied as to submit himself to the Presbytery with this express condition, that in case the heritors’ promises were not fulfilled within a competent time, he may be ipso facto loosed from his charge, should he wish to accept of a call to any other place.  To these conditions the heritors then present agreed.

(Extract from 'Church Life in Ross and Sutherland 1688-1914' - MacNaughton 1915.)

 

This stipulation was was not implemented, and Mr Mackillegan, having received a call from Alness, accepted it and was inducted there 24th September, 1714.

(Extract from 'Religious Life in Ross' - Noble 1909.)

 

It may here be noticed that Baron David Ross of Balnagown adopted Presbyterianism.  He married Lady Anne Stewart, daughter of the 4th Earl of Moray.  She was a person of noted piety, and her home became a place of refuge to the covenanters during the persecution.  The Baron was ordained after the Revolution, and occupied a seat in the Presbytery of Ross, as also didi John Munro, Baronet of Fowlis.  Baron David was the last of the original Rosses of Balnagown who possessed the property.  He died at Inverness in 1771, and was interred at Fearn.

(Extract from 'Religious Life in Ross' - Noble 1909.)

 

1734

With regard to the planting of the Parish of Kilmuir-Easter, the patron-the Earl of Cromartie, who was present-stated that the jus devolutum had now taken place.  Thereafter the Presbytery resolved to take proper steps towards the settlement of the parish.  Accordingly they appointed a letter to be written to the Hon. George, Master of Ross, as Tutor to Balnagown, and the Presbytery appointed the Moderator to subscribe the same in the Presbytery’s name, which he did coram , and the letter was sent to the Postmaster of Tain.  For the vacancy two candidates were proposed, namely, Mr John Porteous and Mr Daniel Munro.  The majority of heritors-including the Earl of Cromartie-voted for Mr Porteous, as did also the only ordained elder and the majority of the heads of families; therefore, we read, the Presbytery allowed a call to Mr John Porteous, probationer, to be drawn up and subscribed.  The call was largely signed, and the Presbytery sustained it. Thereafter, Mr Porteous’ call was appointed to take place on the 27th November.  When the 27th November arrived, the Moderator, Mr Hugh Munro, for private reasons, refused to take part in the proceedings.

(Extract from 'Church Life in Ross and Sutherland 1688-1914' - MacNaughton 1915.)

 

22NDSeptember 1814

The Presbytery of Tain met at Kilmuir-Easter on the 22nd September, 1814, for the admission of Mr Charles Ross Matheson to be minister of Kilmuir.  Mr Neil Kennedy presided, and there was a crowded congregation.  Mr Kennedy put to Mr Matheson the usual questions, and received satisfying answers.  He then, in the name of Presbytery, admitted him to be minister of the Church and Parish of Kilmuir-Easter.  The brethren present gave Mr Matheson the right hand of fellowship, and the heritors, elders, and heads of families received him as their minister by taking him by the right hand on dismissing the congregation.  Thereafter the people were exhorted by Mr Kennedy in Gaelic, and the minister in English, and the action being over, Mr Matheson’s name was added to the Presbytery Roll.

(Extract from 'Church Life in Ross and Sutherland 1688-1914' - MacNaughton 1915.)

 

1866

On the 6th January, 1866, the Presbytery met at Kilmuir-Easter, after the funeral of their late brother, Mr William Macpherson.  Mr Macpherson died on the 1st of January.  The Presbytery instructed their Moderator, in their name, to transmit to Mrs Macpherson and family an expression of their warmest sympathy and condolence with them under the afflicting bereavement which they have sustained.

(Extract from 'Church Life in Ross and Sutherland 1688-1914' - MacNaughton 1915.)