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Andy Morrison
High Mingarry and Clanranald's Blacksmith.
Sun Jun 28, 2009 17:30
195.93.21.99

Thank-you for all the hard work in presenting all the fascinating information about High Mingarry.

With regard to the existence of a smithy there the following should be of interest.

The following are short exerts taken from ARGYLL JUSTICIARY
RECORDS VOLUME 11 The Stair Society, Edinburgh 1969.


20 Feb 1730 [Court at Inverary: before Mr Archibald Campbell of Stonefield.]


Intran; Donald McEan Vic Gown alias McDonald, smith in Mingary in Mudart, and John McWilliam alias Cameron, sometime residenter in Garvalt in Sunart, accussed and persued at the instance of Edmund Burt Esquire, manager and director of the works of the lead mynes at Sunard in name of his grace the Duke of Norfolk and the other proprietors of the said works, and Charles Stewart procurator fiscal of court...for the crimes of theft and reciept of theft etc...

... in so far as the said John McWillam alias Cameron (being a person sub mala fama for theft) and the said Donald McEan Vic Gown alias McDonald having for some months bygone kept a close and intimate correspondence together by the said john's going several times to the said Donald's house in Mingarry and the said Donalds comeing several times to the said John's house in Garvalt near the said lead mynes particularly in [Oct. last].........Likeas upon[26,27] or one or other of [Oct .last] the smiddie at the lead groves called The White Smith's Grove, was in the night time brocke open and a great many iron toolls such as hammers, gavelocks, dreels, jumpers, and other instruments of a considerable value belonging to the said lead works stollen and away taken furth thereof.......And the next day after the said smiddie was broke....the said John McWilliam alias Cameron did give and deliver to the said Donald severeal of the said iron toolls and instruments that were stollen......And the said Donald and another person who was with him did carry away the above iron toolls ..from Garvalt and was seen carrying away the same clandestinely before the break of day as said is at Corrintihill going northwards towards his own house.......

The person who went along with Donald was ' Neill McIImichell alias McDonald in Mingary in Mudart aged 25 years..

Another witness at the trial was Allan McDonald in Ellanshuna in Mudart who acknowledged to be cussine german to McDonald the pannels wife

No one can now tell what happened aIl those years ago and a long discourse of the trial follows....after which John Cameron was found not guilty and the unfortunate Donald being found guilty was sentenced to the following......

.... The lord justice general deput..adjudges and ordains the said Donald McDonald to be scourged through the high streets of Inverary by the hands of the common executioner upon friday 17th April next..and to recieve fourty stripes in the manner following... and therafter to be brought back to be kept in ward untill he find caution for his good behaviour in time coming. And appoints the magistrats of Inverary to see this sentence put in execution....

18th Aprile 1730 Donald McDonald of Kenlochmoydart enacted himself as cautioner for the said Donald McDonald smith his good behaviour conform to a bond of cautionrie given in thereant dated [14 and 18 Apr 1730].

Argyll Justiciary Records 11 pages 404, 419, 424.




Whatever the truth of Donald McDonalds case this certainly proves beyond more than tradtion the existence of a MacDonald smith at Mingary.

As far as I am aware the only genealogical information in the trial is given above, and it would be interesting to hear what other records may exist to confirm Donald's descent.


I have seen Clanranalds anvil on display and I stayed in the Clanranald Hotel in the 1990s when I talked to a Mr MacLellan who mentioned the tradition of the smith at Mingarry, Moidart, and it is good to be able to confirm in record also his existence.

Hope the above is of interest

A.G.(Andy)Morrison





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