Notes & Queries


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Scottish Notes & Queries


An occasional series of articles gleaned from research into my NE Scotland ancestors. Lots of stories and odd snippets. I hope you find them as interesting as I do...

Scottish Notes & Queries, March 1889

Coast Defence - The Government having recently resolved to strengthen the naval defences of Aberdeen and other coast towns, the following extract minutes of the preparations made by the inhabitants of Nigg to repel the threatened invasion by the Spaniards, in end of the last century, may not prove uninteresting:-

"June 18th 1797 - Early this Spring, on fear of invasion, an offer was made to Government, in a letter and engagement to Lord Kintore (that Earl being Lord Lieutenant of this county), from the farmers and others in the parish of Nigg, of all their carts, horses, and servants, to carry soldiers or military stores, in case of invasion, without expense. These were, in whole, 27 carts with two horses in each cart, and 27 carts with one horse in each, with servants to drive them."

"Upon Application from Government, in the same view, for an account of the live and dead stock of individuals residing near the sea-coast, that it might be removed, or destroyed, in case the enemy should attempt to land, and account was made out from the declaration of the farmers and others, and sent to the Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Kincardine. The amount was 52 carts, 85 horses, 321 cows &c., 447 bolls of bear, 642 bolls of oats and meal, 19 bolls of pease, 293 bolls of potatoes, and 10,580 stones of hay. Servants of whom the number was wished, were 67."

"There had also been a call from the Lord-Lieutenant, the heritors and landholders of the County of Kincardine, to the inhabitants from sixteen to sixty, to enrol themselves under the Deputy-Lieutenants, with certain regulations, for to learn and practise military service for defence of the country, in case of invasion. Under the patronage of a deputation of the Honourable the Magistrates of Aberdeen, and with the presence and influence of John Menzies, Esq., of Pitfoddels, and the Heritors of this parish, there enrolled themselves at the Cove, to learn the use of Small arms, or to manage great guns, - land people and fishermen, 49 at Torry, and the Bridge of Dee 27; and also all the fishermen at Cove, 31, and 10 fishermen at Torry, made offer of assisting with their boats to transport soldiers, with military stores, if necessary, along the coast from Bervie to the mouth of the Ythan, without expense to Government."