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The Clan Chisholm Journal...

has been published annually by The Society since 1958. Over the years, the Journal has developed from a news-sheet to a magazine of approximately 64 pages dealing with the history and circumstances of the Clan Chisholm, as well as other topics of interest to a Chisholm. No article aims to please all Chisholms at all times, but in each edition, there is enough to satisfy everyone, whatever their Chisholm interest.


Index to Selected Clan Journal Articles

Chisholm Place Names

Chisholm Name Variants

Ancient Highland Customs - I & II

Great Glen Myths Miscellany I & II

Did You Know Department I, II & III ?

Land Disputes I - A Fraser Way

Land Disputes II - A Chisholm & Seaforth Way

To Scottish Castle or Not?

Scottish Customs & Folklore

Highland Health Miscellany

Two Highland Fairy Tales

Scottish Measures - 1773

Note: When the initials RECB appear at the end of an article, they refer to a journal article written by Roger E. Chisholm-Batten, Former Journal Editor.


Chisholm Place Names

River Beauly / Farrar - The river between Beauly Bridge and Kilmorack church has somewhat altered its course over the years. As a result portions of the parish of Kiltarlity lie on the left bank rather than the right. The River Beauly in John Byset’s time of the early 1200s was described as the River Farrar (at least within the church lands) when the church at Kilmorack was endowed with the salmon fishing by John Byset. Only later was the name of the river changed to the present day Beauly.

Kilmorack comes from the Church of St. Morac.

Kiltarlity is named after the Church of St. Talorgain or Talarican. [Ed. ‘The Oxford Dictionary of Saints does not seem to recognise these Holy Men.]

Convinth means Free quarters or Billiting. It is a reference to the old obligatory custom of providing hospitality for the King when on his travels.

Cannich means a Sweet smelling shrub or Standing Water

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Ancient Highland Customs - I

By the 14th century and perhaps a lot earlier it was an old established Highland practice that plunderers returning with their booty (mainly black cattle) through the territory of any chief entitled this chief by the virtue of the mountainous character of his property, to be considered as a ‘A Brother in Trade’, and to be entitled to receive a percentage or tax on the booty.

This has been elegantly translated as ‘Real Collop’.  The writer continues commenting on a particularly vicious fight over ‘Real Collop’, occurring in the 14th century between the MacPhersons and the Monroes. It was remarkable even for those times for a ferocity so bad that the bones of their late owners were still being found four centuries afterwards. He notes that “many of the most savage Celtic wars were occasioned by pecuniary matters.

It is, perhaps, an adaptation of this warlike spirit to modern habits and institutions, that the Highlanders have been found, during the last eighty years, to be the most inexhaustible litigants in the country, and a prodigious blessing to the legal profession.”

From Lives of Simon Lord Lovat and Duncan Forbes of Culloden
y John Hill Burton (1847)

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Ancient Highland Customs - II

The Crossterie or ‘Fiery Cross’ was a mysterious and ancient Highland symbol of haste and danger It arose from rites older than the days of Christianity and was used to rally clans against external danger. When all other and most urgent methods for raising men had failed (including burning of homes), the fiery cross exercised a traditional sway over emotions which was responded to when coercion, threats and promises had been used in vain.

The ritual was simple - A Christian shaped Cross was lit and this burning piece of wood, to give it the proper mystical efficiency, was doused by dipping it into the blood of a slaughtered goat.

The form was Christian but the oblation, or pious donation, had an ancient pagan character. It is not unlikely that the priests of the new and purer Christian worship, unable totally to completely supersede ancient idolatrous ceremonies were content to blend them with the gentler ordinances of the early Irish Celtic church.

At Simon Lord Lovat’s impeachment for kidnapping and rape in 1698, witnesses attested the passage of the fiery cross through the countryside as his indictment commented. ‘Likeas, that they might raise and promote their foresaid manifest insurrection and rebellion, they sent the fiery cross through the country, a sign and symbol used amongst them to gather their complices in armes, for making insurrections and rebellions and other unlawful convocations’.
General Wade’s ‘Report on the Highlands to his Majesty – 1724’ states: ‘The Highlander’s Notions of Virtue and Vice are very different from the more civilised part of Mankind. They think it a most Sublime Virtue to pay Servile and Object Obedience to the Commands of their Chieftains, altho’ in opposition to their Sovereign…and to encourage this, their Fidelity, they are treated by their Chiefs with great Familiarity, they partake with them in their Diversions, and shake them by the Hand whenever they meet them…On sudden Alarms, or when any Chieftain is in distress, they give Notice to their Clans, or those in Alliance with them by sending a Man with what they call the Fiery Cross, which is a stick in the form of a Cross, burnt at the End, who send it forward to the next Tribe or Clan. They carry with it a Paper, directing them where to Assemble; upon sight of which… with great Expedition, they repair to the place of Rendezvous, with Arms, Ammunition and Meal for their Provision’.


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Land Disputes - A Fraser Way

Disputes over land did not cease but changed character during the 18th century. After the 1715 rebellion, an action in the Court of Session, especially if it concerned landed property, became a variety of hereditary war transmitted from generation to generation. It was a method of controversy which gradually superseded the old deadly feuds, as the conflicts between the clans were transferred from the mountain passes to the Courts of Edinburgh. A good array of active law-pleas came to be considered a badge of power and importance, nearly as effective as a strong body of clansmen. To some such as Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat (1676-1747) the various fortunes of judicial war appear to have been an adequate substitute for present bold intrigues and earlier perilous enterprises.

His long running land action against Alexander Mackenzie of Fraserdale revealed Lovat as vengeful and well capable of taking the law into his own hands. The person appointed to act as factor on behalf of Lovat’s creditors found that it was a duty that could be both perilous and obnoxious. In 1719 Fraserdale’s factor’s granaries caught fire apparently igniting at the centre and all four corners simultaneously. As a result the unfortunate factor felt it prudent not to be without the presence of a military force which of course was looked upon as a warlike gesture by Lovat’s clansmen.

As Lovat himself was absent, Lovat’s wife acting as Viceroy had to issue a proclamation that was read out in Gaelic by the Minister.

To Mr. Thomas Chisholm, Minister of the Gospel at Kilmorack Beaufort, the 9th July 1720:
"Reverend Sir,
I intreat you will be so kind as to read the enclosed intimation after Divine Worship, in order to prevent any disturbance by ignorant people in the country, and give my service to your bedfellow' willing you both a good new year.

I am, Reverend Sir,

Your affectionate humble servant, Ma. Lovat.

Intimation therin enclosed:

"Whereas some ill-designing men, who are equally enemies to his Majesty King George and to my Lord Lovat, have by malicious insinuations and false representation, procured a party of the king’s troops to come and keep garrison in this country, with the intention to create mistakes, jealousies and if possible quarrel betwixt the soldiers and my Lord Lovat’s men, as if the said party had come to assist the Jacobite Factor, who pretends to uplift the rents of the estate of Lovat, in opposition to His Majesty’s gift to my Lord Lovat, which is confirmed by the highest court in Great Britain.

These are therefore to desire and order all my Lord Lovat’s kinsmen and followers, not to be imposed on in that affair, but to use all discretion and civility towards the said party, as believing they would rather, if required, assist my Lord Lovat, in the support of his said gifts. This by my Lady Lovat’s special orders, I am desired to intimate to my congregation.”

Lord Lovat fostered a notion or delusion that every neighbouring estate naturally formed a part of his own and used every process possible to gain this end. The method that he usually used to realise this aim was the ignoble one of buying up securities, and then endeavouring to attach the property for the debts that they secured. This brought varying success as can be seen by an undated letter to his agent about John MacDonell XIX of Glengarry: ‘I may as well ask for his liver or his lungs as ask him to give me the lands of Abertarf for money…so long and unjustly kept from me by the weaknesses of my predecessors…’.

There is a letter dated 27th October 1738 from Lord Lovat to his agent John MacFarlane about the final case with Fraserdale that went against Lovat. To say that Lovat was cross would be an understatement. The general tone of the letter can be seen from this extract:       ‘…I have been cheated, abused, sold, my papers embezzled, robbed and given up to my enemies; and in short treacherously, villainously, and ungratefully betrayed and sold…’. But once this is out of his system he goes on to say: ‘I have caused execute the summons of reduction and improbation against the Chisholm, which I beg you cause carry on with vigour…’.

It appears that he carried on a tedious and lengthy litigation with the Chisholm, which was described by a mass of papers in an old Fraser charter chest. However from the extent of the Chisholm lands at the end of the 18th century it must be that Lovat’s successful land depredations against The Chisholm were insignificant if at all. Unfortunately only the above letter was quoted in ‘The Life of Simon, Lord Lovat’ by John Hill Burton. Where the rest of the papers are now is uncertain, if indeed they now exist.


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Land Disputes - A Chisholm & Seaforth Way

It seems that the Chisholm’s tenants and those of the Earl of Seaforth in Kintail disagreed as to the proper boundary on the hills between the estates of their respective chiefs. The Chiefs, being relatives and always on friendly terms with each other, looked with disfavour upon the disputes among their vassals. Finally ‘after a variety of suggestions by eminent men on both sides, it was decided to submit the question of the boundary to the wisdom of the two chiefs.’

Their decision was as unique as the result was tragic. ‘An old dairymaid from Kintail was to be sent from Caisteal Donnan, and a Strathglass maid from Beinnvean, and where they met was to be the boundary line.’ Each set forth at the time appointed and in due course confronted each other west of Glen Affric on a hillock between Loch-a-bheallaich and Altbeatha. ‘You have come too far towards Kintail and I will go still further towards Strathglass,’ declared Seaforth’s dairymaid. The Chisholm maid retorted that if she dared to pass a step further it would be the worse for her. Heedless of the warning, the other advanced. ‘Whereupon her adversary dealt her a fatal blow with her staff. Thrusting the staff in the ground near the lifeless body, the maid from Strathglass marched in triumph back to Comar.’ Where the staff was found is called Cnoc-a-Chuaille or the ‘Hillock of the Bludgeon’.

It was in this extraordinary fashion that the boundary was settled.

By Harriette F. Thrasher
From Colin Chisholm’s Traditions of Strathglass

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Scottish Customs & Folklore

After 1690 the Presbyterian Church ordained that a child could only be baptized during public worship. As families could live many miles away from the kirk, some ministers, to conform with humanity or the laws of nature, often announced that public worship would be held in a remote cottage or farm-town where the parents of an infant lived. There the whole service was performed at the cottage or barn followed by baptism and then according to many sources ‘entertainment which did not tend to sobriety’.

The eagerness of parents to get their children baptized was often due less to piety than to superstition. For until it was baptized, a baby was a thing without a name, and without a name could not possibly be saved, for how could it be identified at the Resurrection?

Perhaps more importantly until it was baptized a baby might be carried off by the fairies and a changeling substituted for it. An un-christened child was also subject to the malign power of the evil eye – to avert which each visitor was presented with the propitiatory gift of a piece of bread.

From Social Life in the 18th Century – Henry Grey Graham (1899)
& Gregor’s Folk-Lore of the North- East of Scot.

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Highland Health Miscellany

For those suffering from consumption (Tuberculosis) brought on by being witch-ridden, a sovereign remedy for restoring the health was for the sufferer to eat butter made from the milk of cows fed in kirkyards.

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Two Highland Fairy Tales

The Ferryman

There was once a ferry service across a loch, and at one time it was not safe for anyone to cross on it but the ferryman himself.  Everyone else would be drowned.

One day a shepherd came who wanted to cross to the other side of the loch to see his mother and his two sisters. The ferryman told him it was not safe, but the shepherd begged him to take him, and at last the ferryman gave him a sword, and told him to sit in the prow and cut the waves as they came at the boat. “For three great waves will come against us,” he said, “and unless you cut them they will drown the boat.”

So the shepherd sat in the prow, and when they were halfway across, a great wave came up, and he leant out and cut it, and it died back into the water, and let the boat pass. Then a second wave came up, and the shepherd cut that, and they got safely through. Then a third wave came up against them, far greater than either of the others, and the shepherd leaned far out, and cut into the wave, and it died back into the water, and the boat got safe to land.

Then the shepherd paid the ferryman, and went up to his mother's cottage. But when he went in he found his mother and his two sisters lying on the floor, all of them cut in two. They were the witches who had troubled the ferry.

The Silver Sixpence

So the old man lay in the byre, but always at midnight, a drowsiness would come over him, and he would fall asleep.  So at last he made up his mind that he must stay awake.  That night at midnight the byre door creaked open a little crack, and a brown hare came into the byre, and went from stall to stall.

So the next night the old farmer watched again, but this time he took his gun, and loaded it with a silver sixpence and then sat and waited till midnight.  At midnight in came the hare, lolloping from stall to stall.  When she got to the door, the farmer took aim and fired.  He had only hit her front paw, but she gave a great scream, and a flood of milk came out of her, and she scampered away into the dark.

The next morning the farmer went to see an old woman that lived near.  The door was shut, and her granddaughter came to it.  “You'll no can see Grannie,” she said. “She's ill. She's hurt her hand.”  “That'll no prevent her seeing me,” replied the farmer, “especially an old neighbour like me.”

He went in, and found the old wife sitting by the fire, with her hand all bundled up.  “Let's look at your hand, Maggie woman,” said the old farmer.  “Maybe I can cure it.”  He unwrapped the bandages, and sure enough there was a wound in it, and in the middle of the wound there was a bent silver sixpence.  The farmer's cows gave good milk after that.


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Scottish Measures - 1773

2 Scotch Pints = 1 Scotch Gallon

1 Scotch Pint = 4 English Pints

1 Scotch Chopin (Choppin) = 2 English Pints

1 Scotch Mutchkin = 1 English Pint

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Great Glen Myths Miscellany - I

Loch Ness once upon a time did not exist, there being just a pleasant valley populated by hardworking farmers.  In this valley there was a well that supplied unlimited water.  It ran when its cover was removed and ceased when the cover was replaced.  One day however a woman using the well heard her child scream and running to see what the matter was forgot to replace the well’s cover.  The water overflowed out of the well thereby flooding the valley.  The people fled crying “Tha loch nis ann!” (“There is a lake there now!”).  That is why it is called Loch Ness.

More romantic students with a smattering of geology, might prefer the alternative legend that the name Ness is derived from the Loch of Naoise (pronounced noy-sha).  Naoise with her lover Deirdre-of-the-Sorrows and other companions, lived the life of golden age joy in different parts of the Highlands until being lured back to Ireland and to her death at the hands of the jealous King Conochbar.

Even more serious students might consider that the name “Ness” has developed and come from the word ‘Nedtos’ (meaning ‘stream’ or ‘river’), which came from the Indo-European root ‘ned’ (‘to wet’ or ‘to flood’).  This may be another reflection back to the pre-Celtic Indo-European language spoken in the area 3000 years ago.

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Great Glen Myths Miscellany - II

During the travels of St. Columba, near where the river enters the loch Ness at Fort Augustus, St. Columba told one of his monks to swim across to fetch a boat on the opposite bank.  Midway across, the monk was pursued by a terrible roaring water-monster.  St. Columba sternly commanded the monster not to harm the monk and the monster fled.  Since that day though sighted on many occasions, it has never hurt anyone.

Further on up Loch Ness St. Columba was halted by a contrary wind.   Some say that it was raised by magic through the efforts of the pagan king Brude who did not wish to meet the holy man.  Unperturbed, Columba’s boat continued to sail against the wind until it reached Brude’s fort Craig Phadrig which is situated very close to present day Inverness.

Once St. Columba had arrived at Craig Phadrig, Brude shut his gates fast in a last vain attempt to avoid Columba.  But when Columba made the sign of the cross and laid his hands on the gates, the bolts miraculously shot back and the gates opened of their own accord.  Columba’s party entered.  Brude saw that he was on a losing wicket.  He was baptised and allowed his people to be converted to Christianity before more damage to his prestige was done!

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Did You Know Department ? - Part 1

Porridge packets have ensured that ‘Putting the Stone’ has become synonymous with Scots oats and brawny Scotsmen.   For a long time it had been one of the most popular informal athletic activity, being practised in farmyards and villages throughout the British Isles.  The raw material was plentiful, being gathered from the river beds where the continuous action of the water over the years had worn the stones to the shape, size and texture required for the shot-putters, and any level ground was suitable for practice however rough.

Putting the Stone became widespread throughout the British Isles among all levels of society.  The English king, Edward III prohibited this activity along with others as the practice of Archery, a military necessity, was being neglected. Like all prohibitions this was not widely observed and repeat orders were made over the ages until by the early 17th century, fashion - the ultimate law - dictated that it was not the ‘done thing’, being suitable only for soldiers in camp.

Whilst we are on the subject of large stones and strong men, Highland Chiefs used to have the ‘Clachneart’ or ‘Stone of Strength’ placed at their gateways. Visitors were invited to try their strength.  Associated with this was the ‘Clach Cuid Fir’ or ‘Manhood Stone’.  The aim was to lift it onto another stone which was about three to four feet high.  As the Manhood stone could weigh from at least one hundredweight (112 Ibs) and sometimes over two hundredweight (224 Ibs) this was no mean task.  Apparently suitable stones were placed near the Kirk and young bloods would practice after attending the Sunday service.

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Did You Know Department ? - Part 2

The history of Scotland is such a bloody and stormy one that it is not at all surprising that ‘Sword and Dirk’ dances feature so largely over the centuries.

As far back as 54 BC there are records of our British Celtic forefathers doing sword dances to the amazement of the Roman invaders.  Tacitus writing at the end of the first century, expressed great surprise at the dances of the Caledonian warriors.  They would stick their sword and spear handles in the ground so that the blades pointed upwards, and when satisfied with the arrangement, would proceed to dance in and out of this lethal assortment of obstacles.

The theory of the origin of sword dancing is that before a battle the swordsmen would dance over their claymores.  If they managed to complete the dance without touching the swords, then it was believed that they would be blessed with good fortune in the coming battle.  It goes without saying that those whose feet were cut to ribbons were somewhat at a disadvantage if they continued to the battlefield.  On the other hand if they were fit and fleet of foot enough, then they had a better chance to “dance like a butterfly and sting like a bee” as Cassius Clay used to say.

The great Malcolm Canmore, Calum-a-Chinn Mor, (also known as Big Head) is the supposed originator of the dance ‘Ghillie Callum’ as it is known today. During a battle in AD 1054 he fought and slew one of Macbeth’s chiefs near Dunsinane.  Taking his late opponent’s sword, he formed a cross by putting his own weapon over that of his vanquished foe and triumphantly danced over the crossed swords - a potent symbol of his victory.

The tune for the ‘Gillie Calum’ is equally old and the story goes that the song was composed to mock Canmore’s tax gatherers.  A new coin a “bodle” had been introduced and the words of the song refer to this insignificant sum which was worth only two Scottish pence.

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Did You Know Department ? - Part 3

The Tossing of the Caber’ or ‘Ye Casting of the Bar’ is one of the most spectacular events at Highland Gatherings.  It has remained quite unaltered for many centuries.

The aim of the competition is not to throw the caber as far as possible but toss it as straight as possible.  The caber is grasped by the thinner end and when thrown lands on the heavier end and continues to describe a semi-circle, landing and remaining in a straight line with respect to the thrower.  The closer to the line of the competitor the better the throw,

The rules are somewhat pragmatic.  If a caber cannot be thrown then the log is shortened until it becomes manageable.  Similarly on uneven ground, if no one can toss it uphill then the competitors turn round and the caber is thrown downhill!

The dimensions of the caber are usually about 17 feet long and about 100 Ibs weight.  The famous ‘Braemar Caber’ measures 19’ 3” long and weighs 120 Ibs.  This was first thrown successfully in 1951 by a George Clark, who to ensure that everyone recognised his skill and strength, threw it a further two times that day!

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To Scottish Castle or Not?

Shock, Horror – The Daily Telegraph reports that Professor Charles McKean of Dundee University has exposed the past vain glorious weaknesses among the Scots gentry, for pretending that their houses were in fact castles.

Does this mean that Erchless Castle, (whose name comes from the Pictish ‘Arkeas’ which means water defence), that proud building threatened by the dastardly English Major Lockhart with destruction following Culloden, was deemed so important a symbol that murder most foul was carried out across the streets of Inverness; that this turreted building with defensive anti-clockwise staircases supposedly built to deter attackers, never heard the clank of steel boots racing across its stone floors and the sound of sword against sword; never saw armed defenders resist marauding neighbours; never cried as its fortifications were put to the test and its inhabitants slain in mortal combat and never sang as the cruel winds swept through the draughty passageways and battlements?

Could it be that the old Chiefs were, horror of horrors, more cultured than has been let on, and were in fact more interested in sophistication and comfort than hardship and conflict?  Could it be that cold, draughty fortified defensive castles were reckoned to be a bit ‘naff’ and that the ‘Auld Alliance’ with France was more that a political fantasy?  Could it be that the culture of France extended and became assimilated into the living standards of these isolated lairds?

Yes and yes again, as the good Professor reckons that most so called castles were in fact manor and tower houses, or châteaux - not to put too fine a point on it.   It seems that many of the ‘castles’ owe their appearances to the French tradition of châteaux architecture and the apparent fortifications, battlements and soaring turrets were mere ornament, used as dressing rooms, viewing rooms or just plain ‘snugs’ for entertaining one’s cronies in quiet and privacy.

The evidence comes from re-examination of ancient maps and manuscripts dating from the 16th century.  At this time the word castle was very rare and those of Stirling and Edinburgh spring to mind.  Later on by 1740 previously described houses were now being described as castles.  By 1890 the majority of so-called castles were in fact domestic tower houses and called castles to satisfy the ego of their owners and the pretensions of those who rented these ‘castles’ in order to slaughter the game of the Highlands from a place of comfort and ease.

The Victorian romanticisation of the Highlands led to this mytholification of Scottish history and culture. And of course Hollywood ever ready to re-write history for the sake of a profitable film, has been propagating the pseudo-propaganda of the very dubious Braveheart, to the benefit of their wallets.

So where does the Clan Chisholm Society stand on these contentious points?   As you might expect well ahead of the game!   Jean Munro it seems pipped the worthy Professor by approximately 25 years.

Jean’s article in the 1973 Clan Journal clearly states that Erchless was built in the early 1600s when ‘defence had in some measure given way to comfort’.  The ‘Tower House’ design of Erchless, typical of its period, has what others describe as a French influence, but more prosaically was due to the ‘shortage in Scotland of suitable timber for a large expanse of roof’ and ‘in order to crowd the maximum accommodation possible under the minimum expanse of roof’ rooms were placed above each other, thus resulting in a ‘Tower House’.  ‘The upper works breaking into extra turrets to provide more space and privacy, the whole having a pleasing as well as practical effect’.

In a previous article in the 1972 Journal, Jean discusses the Siege of Erchless in the period 1689-90.  Following the Jacobite victory at Killiecrankie in 1689 and the withdrawal of the leaders to the mountains, the government felt it necessary to install garrisons at suitable places.  Both Erchless and Urquart castles were occupied.  On 29th March 1690 it was reported that ‘a considerable number of Highlanders had fallen upon the garrison within Erchless’ but that this was repelled with the aid of reinforcements from Inverness.  The building suffered and probably became ‘ruinous burnt and bare walls’ and ‘unfitt’ by 1708.

Later on in the 18th century there was re-building. The upper windows were enlarged, the main entrance was removed from the west side where it was protected by a gun loop to the present day south side and the south turret filled with an ‘elegant and airy spiral stair’.  The ramparts were levelled and the moat filled in leaving a very elegant ‘L’ shaped castle that was further altered and extended in the Victorian days.

Chisholm Honour satisfied, it seems that there is nothing new under the sun and that newspapers will do anything to get a good article - Oops there I go again calling the kettle black!


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Surnames of Scotland - CHISHOLM

CHISHOLM, Chisholme. An old Border family deriving their name from the Barony of Chisholm in the parish of Roberton, Roxburgh-shire. The name occurs but seldom in early Scots records. The first of the name recorded is John de Chesehelme, mentioned in a Bull of Pope Alexander IV, 1254. John de Chesolm of Berwickshire, and Richard de Chesehelme of Roxburghshire rendered homage in 1296. The seal of the latter bears on a heater shield, a boar’s head, couped, contourné, dropping blood and S’ Ricardo de Cheishelm (Bein, II, p. 199, 207, 531). Inquisition was made in 1315 into the lands and fishings of John de Cheseholm in Paxton and Tweed(Bain, III, 461) and Robert de Chesholm is mentioned in action against the Burgh of Dundee, 1348 (RAA,II,22).

By the middle of the fourteenth century members of the Family had made their way to the North, and in 1359 Robert de Chesholme appears as sherriff of Inverness, and an Alexander de Chesseholme is there also (ER, II, p569, 570). Robert de Chesholme was custodian of the castle of Vrchard (ER., II, p143), and in 1369 he is mentioned as Dominus de Quarelwode in Moray (REM., p. 143). John de Sheshelm was admitted Burgess of Aberdeen in 1439 (NSCM., I, p.5), and three members of the family of Chisholm of Cromlix held the bishopric of Dunblane in the sixteenth century (Dowden).

In 1499 certain individuals were put to the horn for the slaughter of Harrold of Schlescheme, dwelling in Strathglas (OPS., II, p.527). It is interesting to note that so late as 1512 the territorial form “of Chessam”  was still in use in the North (Cawdor, p. 126). Weyland Chisholm had his lands erected into a barony in 1513. John Cheshelm of Kinereis in record, 1603 (Rec Inv., II, p.14), Walter Chisholm of that Ilk was the bailie of regality of Melrose, 1605 (RRM., I,p.1), and Alexander Chesholm was a private in the Reay Fencibles, 1795 (Scobie, p.371).

The Gaelic form of Chisholm is Siosal, and collectively the clan is known as An Siosalach. The Highland Chisholms were also sometimes distinguished from the Lowland Chisholms as An Siosalach Glaiseach, the Chisholms of Strathglass. Cheshelme 1376, Cheishame 1508, Cheisholme 1626, Chesame 1511, Cheshelme 1480, Cheseim 1527, Chesim 1506, Chesolme 1522, Chesom 1531, Chesome1511, Chessame 1480, Chisolm 1721, Chisolme 1674, Chisomme 1562, Chissem 1544, Chisolme 1670, Schescheme 1499, Schisholme 1642, Schisolme and Schisome 1675, Shisholme 1650, Schishome 1650, Scykklaw ( for = lam) 1361. In Antrim the name has become Chism.

George F. Black, Ph.D.

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