THE KINTYRE
ANTIQUARIAN and
NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY
MAGAZINE

Taken from
Issue Number 54 Autumn 2003

CONTENTS

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MEMORIES OF MACHARIOCH 1916 -1920
Gavin Ralston

Old men, they say, forget: but remembering is one of the pleasures of old age.

I was born on February 19th, 1912, at Macharioch Farm where my father, Robert, had been tenant since 1901. Both my parents (my mother was a Reid) were, like so many other farming families of South Kintyre, directly descended from the Lowlanders who were brought from Ayrshire by the Marquis of Argyle in the middle of the 17th century to stabilise the rural economy of South Kintyre. The man who was appointed to lead those families was William Ralston of that Ilk.

Macharioch House and Farm are situated on the south-east corner of Kintyre looking over the Firth of Clyde to Ayrshire and Wigtownshire. These two buildings, together with the gardener's lodge and the two cottages, constituted a small community. During the time of which I write, this small enclave of Kintyre was the home of between 35 and 40 people.

In the farm there were myself and my parents, two dairymaids and two workmen. In the cottages were Dougie Murray, the ploughman, his wife and four children, and Willie McCormick, the byreman, his wife and three children. The occupants of the 'Big Hoose' were Ina, Dowager Duchess of Argyll; her companion Lady Elspeth Campbell; Broadfoot, the butler; the cook, two kitchen-maids, a housemaid and a lady's maid. In the lodge, Tom Davidson, the gardener, lived with his wife and two children. The Duchess was the only person over 50. In the years covered by these notes, there were three deaths - my father (49), pneumonia; Mary Davidson (6), diphtheria, and Jessie Murray (9), appendicitis.

The age at which events and happenings become imprinted on a child's mind and available for recall varies. Compton Mackenzie said that he could remember events which occurred when he was in his pram! I cannot emulate this, but I can put a definite date on one of my earliest memories. One day I was passing through the kitchen at Macharioch and found a young woman, usually bright and cheerful, sobbing loudly and showing my mother a piece of paper. I went out to continue my play, but this strange scene stuck in my memory. I learned years later that this young woman's husband had been killed at the Battle of the Somme. This was July, 1916. I was four years old.

Schooldays

I attended the village school at Southend from the age of five until I was nine, when we left Macharioch. Each day, I, along with four other children - the two Murray girls from the cottages and Tommy and Mary Davidson from the lodge - walked the three miles to school. This took over an hour. The return journey in the afternoon took longer. In winter it was dark when we left the house and dark again when we returned in the late afternoon. If the weather was very cold and wet we were taken to school in a farm cart. Two 'battles' of straw were spread out in the bottom of the cart. We piled in and were covered with a large tarpaulin. For lunch at school Vie had a 'piece', usually bread and cheese with a small bottle of milk.

In summer, we often took a 'short cut' home. We left the main road at Blasthill, passed through the chambered cairn - the significance of which we did not appreciate - down to the Craichen Burn, along past the partially ruined 'Achrieduie' and on to rejoin the road near the cottages. The vivid memory of those walks is of the bird life - 'peesweeps' in spring (we had to be careful not to walk over their nests) and corncrakes in summer.

I was not very happy at school; in this I was not alone. One of my classmates was Lachie Young, who in later life became one of Scotland's leading educationalists. In his book, Mull of Kintyre to Moosburg, Lachie sums up the atmosphere of our primary school: 'Harsh discipline ... sarcasm ... corporal punishment ... no humour ... no fun ... no laughter. '

Leisure

School being what it was, holidays were all the more welcome. As soon as school was over we took off our boots and stockings and ran about barefoot for the rest of the summer. Our soles became hard and leathery; nettIe-stings were treated with the juice of a docken leaf. We had complete freedom to wander about the steading, the fields and the shore. We were not exposed to the risks that modern children have from mechanised equipment. We learned to keep away from the back end of a horse, we kept an eye on the bull and we were too scared to go into the engine-house. There were no cars or tractors on the roads.

Farm children are never bored; whatever the season there is always some form of interesting activity going on. I remember being quite excited when I watched Dougie Murray starting to plough a field using a new double-furrow plough pulled by three horses. I enjoyed going with my father in a cart to Machrimore Mill to collect a bag of oatmeal and see the miller at work. Or across to the Smiddy to see Dougie McCallum shoeing a horse. (Often, especially in the winter, we would, on our way home from school, go into the smiddy to get some warmth from Dougie's forge. I can still hear the ring of his anvil.) I learned to 'drive' a horse and cart. The only aid to entertainment was a swing attached to the rafters of a loose box next to the piggery and we never had a football. Family holidays were unheard of.

For adults, there was not much time for leisure, but the men found some time for hobbies. My father enjoyed carpentry and made furniture. The wardrobe, dressing-table and chest-of-drawers in my bedroom at Macharioch were unusual, the wood being heavily grained pitch pine. In March, 1903, a three-masted Norwegian barque, the Argo, went aground on the Arranman's Barrels and, despite the efforts of the Campbeltown lifeboat, became a total wreck. My father bought the mainmast and had it sawn into boards in the Campbeltown sawmill. From these he made the suite of furniture. I still have the chest-of-drawers in my house in Campbeltown. I remember my mother sitting down in the afternoon, usually darning socks or mending clothes. Dougie Murray caught moles and dried their skins by nailing them to a board in the sun. Willie McCormick kept a boat on Polliwilline shore and went fishing. I was never allowed to go out with him. One at the McCormick boys kept ferrets and I used to go with him when he was netting rabbits.

In winter, the live-in staff were keen card-players and some were keen on making music. The most popular instrument was the melodeon, a form of accordion. Less expensive was the harmonica or 'mooth organ'. Gibby Broon, the stable lad, was an expert player of the Jew's harp, which he called a 'trump'.

Around Christmas time, there was a party for all the farm workers and their children. It was held in the cheese loft where my father showed slides on the white wall with a 'magic lantern'. The food was huge piles of sandwiches, and for drink my mother made jugs of a soft fizzy drink called 'Boston Cream'. Younger readers of these notes are reminded that in those days fun and entertainment had to be home-made. There was no electricity or gas, no central heating, no radio or television, no computers and no cars or buses to take people to the town. On summer evenings the younger farm workers would gather at some road-end and spend an hour or so in gossip and banter.

Dress

We schoolboys wore short trousers with woollen jerseys. Our stockings were home-knitted and boots were of light leather.

Farm-workers in Kintyre almost all wore a carseckie, which was a heavy cotton blouse buttoned at the neck, the waist and the sleeves. It came in one colour - Royal blue with narrow white stripes. They wore 'tacketty boots' - heavy leather boots with the soles encrusted with metal studs or tackets. In addition, there were steel heel- and toe-plates. When working on wet ground, men wore booyangs, narrow leather strips or more often lengths of binder twine tied below the knee to support the trousers.

My parents, travelling by gig to town or church, had to compromise between fashion and the weather. My father wore a long loose waterproof coat called an ulster and on his head a bowler-hat. My mother, to keep her hat from blowing off, wore a 'motor veil', which was a light scarf placed over the hat and tied under the chin. To keep her hands warm, she buried them in a fur muff.

Visitors

Casual 'drop in' visitors were not frequent - people did not have time to spare. Consequently, those who came to the farm were there on business. Here are some of the visitors I remember well.

  • Dr James Niven came from the village by pony and trap. In those days the stethoscope was a single metal tube and when the doctor listened to my chest I found it was quite painful. I never forgot this and when I came to have a stethoscope (binaural) of my own, I made sure that the chest-piece was warm before applying it to the patient's skin.
  • R. N. Lewis, Veterinary Surgeon (the 'Veet'). His visits were memorable for two reasons. His was the first car I had seen at close quarters and, secondly, during the school holidays he brought with him his son, George, a boy of my own age. This was the beginning of a lifelong friendship which ended only with George's death in 1978.
  • Alex Templeton, cheese merchant from Kilmarnock, who came to buy cheese after tasting a small core for flavour and maturity. For some reason, I thought he was a very old man, but when I met him in Kilmarnock 30 years later he was very spry and alert.
  • Mr. Telfer, a travelling salesman from Strathhaven. He had two large suitcases full of samples of men's and women's underwear, taking orders for future delivery.
  • John Moffat, the mason from the village, came to do building repairs.
  • He was very tall and thin and had a white beard. He carried his tools wrapped in a white apron on the carrier of his bicycle.
  • The Saddler came once a year to repair harness. He had very thick lenses in his glasses and smoked Bogie Roll tobacco in a clay pipe. He slept in the harness room.
  • The Stone-Knapper. On the roadside near the farm there was a pile of rocks left for road repair. The knapper who broke them down to smaller pieces ('jucks' eggs' or 'banties' eggs') came to have his piece in the stable at mid-day. He used a double-headed hammer with a flexible shaft. To protect his eyes from flying chips he wore wire gauze goggles.
  • The Church Choirs of Campbeltown came to Macharioch for their annual picnic and dance. They came by wagonette, a four-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle, carrying 12 passengers on two bench seats placed fore and aft. The picnics and games (usually rounders) were held in the field next the shore. Meanwhile the barn was being prepared for the dance. My job was to scatter French chalk over the floor.

Ina, Dowager Duchess of Argyll

In Macharioch House, the Duchess and her staff lived a life which was almost completely separate from the rest of the 'community'. There was a daily visit from a kitchen maid to collect milk, butter and eggs, and a not infrequent visit from the butler to 'borrow a drop' of whisky. Whether this was for himself or the Duchess, I never knew. As for the Duchess herself, she was a recluse. Having erected on the shore an impressive monument to the memory of her late husband, she retired to the house, cutting herself off completely from such social life as she and the Duke must have enjoyed before the Duke's death. It was said that at every meal a place was laid at the table for the Duke.

I spent a good deal of time roaming round the gardens with Tommy Davidson, the gardener's son, but I never once saw the Duchess taking a walk. The only time we saw her was when she 'went for a drive'. The car, driven by Broadfoot the butler, was a big maroon-coloured open vehicle. The Duchess sat very erect in the back seat, accompanied by her companion, Lady Campbell. Between them sat her dog Foxy, a large white Samoyed. If we children were on the road when she passed, we stood respectfully aside; the boys saluted and the girls bowed. She never acknowledged those courtesies by the slightest nod or smile.

One day, when the Duchess was away from home, Tommy took me into the house through the green baize door. We explored the house, but the only room I remember was the drawing-room because it had a pianola. We played it and I thought it was magic and ghostly.

The gardens were immaculately kept by Mr. Davidson. From the window of the drawing-room there ran a long stretch of lawn about 4 m wide. This was called The Green Walk and had to be mown several times during the summer. For this Mr. Davidson used a horse-drawn mower. He borrowed from the farm our pony, Polly. So as not to damage the lawn, Polly was fitted with a set of leather boots.

When we were leaving Macharioch, the Duchess gave to my mother, by the hands of the butler, a small pot-plant - a Fatsia japonica - which is now over 10 feet in height and flourishing.

The Great War

My child's mind was incapable of comprehending the events relating to the War; I could only see and remember without understanding. My encounter with the weeping widow of the Somme was merely a 'happening' without cause or effect. Never having known a time when there was no war, I accepted as normal the fact that farm sounds and birdsong were accompanied by the thunder of heavy gunfire. This came from the sea area between Kintyre and Wigtownshire where naval gunnery exercises were almost continuous. On our way to school we frequently saw great Dreadnought battleships rounding the Mull.

There was an unusual occurrence one day when a small aeroplane circled low over the farm. I could see the pilot wearing a leather helmet and goggles. He threw out a small object to which was attached long coloured streamers. It landed in the stackyard. My father picked it up; it was a small canvas bag containing a request to send by telegram a certain message to the naval base at Greenock. One of the workmen took the message on his bicycle to the Post Office in Southend where there was the only telephone in the district.

There were episodes when I should have been made aware of the true nature of war. My cousin Jean Weir often came from Campbeltown on her bicycle to collect sphagnum moss. As I helped her, she explained that the moss was dried and then sent to France where it was used as a dressing to soak up the blood from the wounds of soldiers. I remember well feeling frightened by the strange and noisy behaviour of a young man who came to visit. He had changed completely from the time I had last met him. My father explained later that he was suffering from what was called 'shell-shock', the result of his experiences in the trenches.

Food rationing was strict, but, being on a farm, there was no great problem. The only rationing I remember was sugar, as I had to stop taking it on my porridge. Everyone carried a small tin containing his or her own ration. Each year a pig was killed (by sledge-hammer) and hams made. In the store off the kitchen, along with the meal-kist and a bag of flour there were buckets of eggs preserved in waterglass, boxes of dried salt cod and a firkin of salt herring. The only tinned food was corned beef.

There was, of course, in the stable, the corn-kist full of oats for the horses, but at one period - and I think this must have been after the end of the war - there appeared another kist which contained what we called 'locusts'. These were reddish-coloured somewhat bristly beans. They had a rather unpleasant taste, but the horses seemed to like them.

Towards the end of the War, my cousin Robert Weir came to work on the farm. He had been a trooper in the Scottish Horse and had been discharged from the Army, having become infected by malaria while serving in Salonika. I used to listen to him giving tips on horsemanship to the men in the stable. All his training had been as a cavalryman. One tip was: How to Mount your Horse in an Emergency. Approach from the rear, running as fast as you can, place your hands on the hindquarters, vault on to the saddle and gallop off. I once heard him describe an occasion when he had to jump off a large ship, run up a beach and dig into sand dunes. There were a lot of shells on the beach. I thought that must have been a lot of fun, but I later learned that the ship was the HMS River Clyde, that the beach was in Gallipoli and that the shells were being fired from Turkish artillery.

One day I went with my parents to Campbeltown, going, as we sometimes did, by the Learside. As we approached Glenramskill, there was a great sounding of sirens and firing of rockets from the ships anchored in the Loch. That, said my father, means Armistice. He explained that the War was over. He looked at his watch. The time was 11 0' clock and the date was 11 November, 1918.

A year later all the children of the district gathered with the boys of Keil School in their school hall, where we were all presented with a small bronze commemorative medal.

My father died on 22 May, 1920. He was 49 and had been ill for less than a week with lobar pneumonia. That sad event and the following days remain vividly clear, but, surprisingly, it did not seem to occur to me that the course of my life was about to change dramatically. It was only weeks later when, at the auction sale, I saw everything being sold every animal, every implement, every tool down to the last bag of nails that I realised that all that was left of Macharioch were my memories.

Footnotes.- Gavin 'Guy' Ralston left the Grammar School in 1929 to attend Edinburgh University, where he took degrees in Arts, in Law and in Medicine. On qualification, he took up a post in the Surgical Unit of Kilmarnock Infirmary. In the following year he was appointed Assistant Surgeon with an attachment to a General Practice. At the beginning of the NHS in 1948, he was appointed Consultant Surgeon to Kilmarnock lnfirmary and North Ayrshire Hospitals, a post from which he retired in 1977. He is married with one son and three grandchildren. He was team doctor to Kilmarnock FC for 30 years. Editor.


The Dispersal of the Brown Family of Kerranbeg and Machrimore, Part I-
Graeme Reynolds

Edward Brown and Jean Mitchell, his wife, resided in Kerranbeg, where their first three children, David, Janet and Edward, were born between 1770 and 1774. An Edward Brown, probably of the previous generation, is known to have been at Kerranbeg in 1756. By 1776 Edward and Jean had moved to Machrimore, where eight more children were born in the intervening years to 1793. The name of the property was probably South Machrimore. A branch of the family remained at Kerranbeg. In 1792, Robert Brown, 61 years, Elizabeth Ralston, 50 years, his wife, a daughter, Nancy, 16 years, and Hugh Reid with wife, Betty Brown, 21 years, resided there. Betty is presumed to be Robert's daughter.

A number of families of Browns resided at Machrimore. Thomas Brown and Helen Dunlop (My 4th Great Grandparents), his wife, who were recorded through their baptisms of six children, from 1772, is one family whose relationship with the Edward and Robert Brown is imprecise. However, the presence of the names Edward, Robert, Charles and Thomas among their children supports the view that there is a close link between these men. Seven children were baptised, between 1801 and 1817, to the only son of the family of Charles Brown of Machrimore and Elizabeth Ralston (My 3rd Great Grandparents), formerly of Brecklate. Two daughters migrated to the United States of America.

Helen Brown

Helen or Ellen Brown, who married John Greenlees of Machribeg in 1833, migrated to the USA in 1836. She died in Illinois, USA, in 1865.

Janet Brown

Janet married Peter, sometimes known as Patrick, Ralston (My 2nd Great Grandfather)in 1820. Peter's brother, William Ralston of Brecklate, married Elisabeth Andrew of Glenmucklach in 1823. Elisabeth and William, with sons and some daughters, were among the Kintyre passengers who sailed from Campbeltown and completed a 24-day voyage in the Gleaner to New York, USA, on 28 June 1842. The following year, Peter and Janet Ralston arrived in Willow Creek, Illinois, USA, but later moved to Ohio, where the ninth child, William, was born. Janet Ralston died in 1845.

When Janet and Peter Ralston emigrated, they left a daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Fleming, at Campbeltown. Elizabeth and her husband wrote from Campbeltown, on 30 July, 1850, that 'a great many able young men left Kintyre this summer'. They sent 'respects to all our Brothers and sisters and to all ants (sic) & uncles and all inquiring friends'. The implication is that they not only knew a good number of Kintyre people in the USA, but also that there were extended families and generations of their relatives in the USA. The Fleming's also mentioned relatives and friends, including the 'Granlees (sic) family', who were expected in the USA, and 'John Ralston and Duggale Kerrale', destined for Canada. (The last name is the colloquial form of Dugald McKerral.) One group who had emigrated 'for America this summer will be across the Atlantik (sic) by this time'.

The Southend Old Parochial Register [OPR] details the marriages of nine of the children of Edward and Jean Brown of Machrimore, to form connections with the McGeachy, Breckenridge, Maxwell twice, Smith, Ralston, Whitelaw, Cordnar (usually 'Cordiner'), Clark and Andrew families, and the subsequent baptism of some 40 grandchildren. It is the absence of many of these children in the district which suggests that this branch of the family began to disperse possibly as early as 1795, with a sudden increment after 1836. The detail of the departures of some of these people has been revealed in a variety of records.

Janet Brown

Edward's sister, Janet Brown of Machrimore, who married Hugh Breckenridge in March, 1790, emigrated to Northern Illinois, USA, in 1836. It is understood that this family hosted a number of the subsequent arrivals from Kintyre to allow them time to settle.

Janet Brown's youngest surviving brother, James Brown, had 16 children. His first wife, Isabella Clark, who died in 1823, had given birth to Catherine, Edward and Mathew. His second wife was Margaret Andrew from Glenmuckluch, sister of Elisabeth Andrew, wife of William Ralston. Margaret Andrew, who died in 1845, was the mother of Isabella, David, Jean, Janet, Margaret, James, Hugh, Elizabeth and Mathew; the elder Mathew is presumed to have died prior to 1843. The third wife, Janet nee Brown, native of Douglas in Lanarkshire, gave birth to John, who died in infancy, Agnes and Archibald. Unfortunately, the OPR does not record each of these children.

The 1841 Census showed James and Margaret Brown with nine children residing on Machrimore farm. This property was farmed by him until about 1847. At that time, James left the farm in the management of David, his son. David and the younger siblings remained on their father's former tenancy. In the 1851 Census, David Brown and five siblings were living on the 100 acre property, where two servants were employed. In the same Census, the father, James Brown, and his third wife, Janet, and one child were at Moneroy Village (which is now Southend). James and Janet Brown operated a grocery and clothing merchant business in this village. In the 1861 Census, Elizabeth Brown, a daughter aged 23 years, operated a grocer's shop at Brown's Land, Southend.

James Brown died, aged 68 years, at Muneroy, on 9 January 1859. The inventory detailed a loan of 114 Is 10d to Mathew Brown & Co, merchant, L588 17s 4d as the balance of an account with the Clydesdale Banking Company, Campbeltown, stock in the same company and the Campbeltown & Glasgow Steam Packet Joint Stock Company. Trustees included Mathew Andrew at Campbeltown and Reverend James Lambie, Minister of the United Presbyterian Church, Southend.

Mathew Brown, son, and later a merchant of Southend, married Anne Dickie. Two of their children, James, who died in infancy on 21 September, 1864, and Thomas Paterson Brown, who died aged 22 months on 9 January, 1877, were buried in Keil Cemetery, Southend, where their paternal great?grandfather and grandfather had been buried. Matthew and Annie Brown and four surviving children ? Margaret, James, Jessie and Annie Jain ? were at '8th house', Front Row, Southend, in the 1881 Census.

David, James and Hugh Brown

These brothers were mentioned in the 1851 Census. In 1854, James, aged 19 years, and Hugh, aged 18 years, went 'direct to Illinois USA and settled in Guildford'. They were accompanied by Miss Agnes Hamilton, who subsequently married David Brown. One author had understood that David was a half?brother to James and Hugh Brown, but close inspection of the Southend OPR, (Old Parish Record), reveals that these three men were the sons of Margaret Andrew and James Brown.

Poor farming conditions and 'hard times' in Kintyre and the redevelopment of agricultural lands for sheep pastures made other countries attractive. It was not until the Australian gold rushes from 1851 that the Brown family shifted its interest for a brief time from the USA.

The discovery of gold in the Australian colonies of New South Wales and Victoria, during 1851, led to the sudden increases in the shipping volume on the Australian run. The need for the fastest trip led to innovative navigational techniques. Cheaper, reliable chronometers had enabled seafarers to travel on longitudinal bearings. Acknowledgement that charts exaggerated distance in the higher latitudes placed the shortest route to Australia close to the 66° S latitude in Antarctic waters. The Australian route offered greater scope for the application of Great Circle coursing to save one thousand miles. A voyage could be reduced to some 63 days. Severe Antarctic conditions led to a 'composite' ? middle ? sailing route using lower latitude. All courses, which set many ships on a northerly path into the southern ports of Australia, where a number of ships foundered, emphasised the hazards faced by mariners and passengers near the end of their long, lonely journey over the wild seas. Liverpool, the base for the British emigration traffic, was dominated by the White Star and Black Ball lines, which brought large American clipper vessels for the long Australian run. Not only were fares higher, but additional clothing and food supplies were required on this route. The daunting voyage for the Australian colonies begins to reveal the determination of those passengers not to travel to America and their aspiration to seek the Antipodes.

Knowing that the southern Kintyre people had established considerable family connections in the Americas by this time, it is remarkable that the Brown family would make such a dramatic change in migratory pattern and disperse the families in a second continent. The simple answer is gold. Finding gold was in itself a gain, but other people gained from the prosperity derived from the gold mining industry and the economic wealth generated within the economy.

Jean Brown

Jane Brown married Andrew Paterson at Southend, on 20 April, 1847. Although no record of their passage to Victoria, Australia, has been discovered, this ill-fated couple traveled to the goldfields and lived in the Maryborough district for at least nine years. Jean and Andrew Paterson's fifth child, Jane, had been born on 12 September, 1856, at Adelaide Lead, a mining area south-west of Maryborough. One feature of the Victorian Civil Registration system is that the birth certificate records all previous children of the father. In this instance, it offers the only known detail of the four older children - Archibald, Margaret, James, and Ann, - who had predeceased this birth. None of these children is referenced in the civil registration for births and deaths in Victoria, which commenced on 1 July, 1853, or in the Early Church Records system in that colony, nor do they appear in the Scottish Church Records CD-ROM. The absence from the latter might only show that the couple did not present the children for baptism in a Kirk whose records were included in the compilation. The registration of Jane's birth in 1856 is the earliest Victorian source for this family.

The names of these children might infer the paternal ancestry. It is possible that Andrew Paterson is the person christened in the Parish of Saddell and Skipness in February 1823.

Adelaide Lead was a typical Maryborough gold field. A surface of yellow clay gave way to layers of gravel until the bottom of slate was revealed. Wash dirt averaged six to 36 inches in thickness, with a yield of one to four ounces per load.

Another daughter, Janet, was born at Back Creek, Talbot, cast of Adelaide Lead, on 6 February, 1859. The young Jane Paterson died of diphtheria on 4 August 1859. Janet Paterson died of the effects of dentition on 26 August 1859. Both deaths occurred at Back Creek, Talbot.

Although gold mining in alluvial fields encouraged individual workings, the need for more complex technical enterprises generated forms of association and incorporation to harness the funds and labour of groups of men. Many corporations were floated. To encourage investment, shares were allocated and serial calls were instituted to collect the committed investment. A number of corporations did not reach their full capital. Andrew Paterson of Rocky Flat, Talbot, was a shareholder in The Perseverance Tunnel Gold Mining Company when it was registered at Amherst, another mining settlement, on 16 August, 1865. The original papers for the registration survive, but the absence of a gazettal suggests that the company did not survive for any length of time. The name of the company suggests that the design was to dig closer to the horizontal. This design was suited to mining in the banks of a river or side of a hill to extract wash dirt or quartz reefs.

Various companies had been floated in Rocky Flat from 1862. Two companies failed. They either failed to bottom on gold or found insufficient gold to satisfy shareholders. Some 60 men were employed on the works of the third company - mining, puddling, pumping and winding. Perhaps the dipping drive of the first company in 1862 foreshadowed some of the theory behind the formation of The Perseverance Company. While fossicking - rummaging for any gold-bearing soil - could rely on luck and some physical effort, more organised and expensive mining depended on the rudimentary application of geological knowledge to select the best site for the mine and foster a successful float of the venture.

The last reference to Jean Paterson occurred on 4 November, 1865, when she attended the birth of her grand nephew, Herbert Williams, at Rocky Flat, Talbot. This child was the first son of Mrs. Margaret Williams, granddaughter of the James Brown of Machrimore.

Part II
Part III

Copyright belongs to the authors unless otherwise stated.

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