Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

majority of cases, the aceident or incident to which the island, and occasionally invited to Donibristle House. monks were indebted for their original endowments was, When he had occasion to remain all night, he would singularly enough, sure to occur in some goodly corner never condescend to accept accommodation within doors, of the land where the teeming earth poured its rich but drawing up his boat on the beach, he turned it keel treasures into the garners of the brotherhood, and upwards, and passed the night under it. Brown rewhere all that was beautiful or romantic in nature was, mained on the island until it was occupied as a military as it were, gathered together for their enjoyment. The post for the defence of the Firth during the last war. mere fact of a monastery being planted on this rocky Finding his quiet thus rudely broken in upon, and hav. islet, granting that even the snuggest corner was chosen ing no wish to share the solitude of noisy artillerymen, he for it, says much for the truth of this particular legend. abandoned his hermitage, and nothing farther is known Solitary enough as a summer residence, it mnst have of him beyond the fact, that be ultimately "shuffled off been exceedingly cold and comfortless during the win this mortal coil," and was buried at Leith. ter months, cut off for weeks, as the inhabitants would The cloisters appear to be still as entire as when they frequently be, from all communication with the main were visited by Grose, in 1789. At present they are land. Moreover, and this to calculating men like the used as a store for straw, and a refuge for mutilated mocks would be an important matter, they were com agricultural implements, and upserviceable fishing gear, pletely at the mercy of all those sea rovers who so The sound of the flail is heard in place of the slow and abounded in the times of our early history, and who solemn tread of the monks; and the lowing of cows, or cared not whether the spoil belonged to priest or lay the braying of a jackass, lodged within the consecated man, so long as it was worth the taking. We have no in precincts, now awake the echoes where the monks were tention of tracing the history of this monastery through wont to a long chain of abbots and commendators, suffice it on

"Say the evening prayer, and sing the evening bymn." this point to say, that it acquired a great reputation for As there are abundance of out-buildings which, at little sanctity, and waxed exceedingly wealthy in conse or no expense, could be converted into the necessary quence. The fame of its wealth was so great that it offices, it appears to be a piece of gratuitous mischief was repeatedly pillaged by the English, during their ex thus to convert the fine old ruin into barns, byres, peditions into Scotland, and although St Columba ap donkey-stables, and hen-houses! There is a range of pears, naturally enough, to have vigorously interposed buildings close to the water, on the south side of the on several occasions, and compelled a restitution of island, part of which seems to have been used as the kitthe plunder, he seems ultimately to have got tired of his chen, and in one of the apartments a huge pig reigns lord task, and left the monks to shift for themselves.

paramount. We have no fault to find with this,-there Immediately after the unfortunate battle of Pinkie, in

is a sort of poetical justice in thus installing a pig as the 1547, the island was taken possession of, and fortified

principal tenant in a place where, doubtless, many of his by the English under Somerset. In 1580 it appears to

| race were cooked after the most approved fashions of have been utterly deserted, as we find by a passage in

the times. Moye's Memoirs that the monastery was at that date The octagonal chapter house is likewise in excellent converted into a sort of lazar house for parties infected condition, but it also is so packed with straw that little by the plague. He says, “ At this time the plague was more than an entrance beyond the door can be effected. brought into Scotland in John Downie's ship, called the There are very few remains of ornamental work on the William of Leith, from Dantzic. The persons therein ruins; the substantial more than the ornamental, seems were appointed to land and remain at St Colm's Inch. to have been aimed at in the erection. There are so There were forty persons in the ship, whereof most part inscriptions or dates anywhere visible. Grose mentions died.”

an inscription, of which only the words “ Stultus,” in A very considerable portion of the monastery still

black letter remained, as having existed in the room remains, although part of it has undergone great inter

over the chapter house. We did not visit this apartment, nal mutations. The tower of the church, which forms a

but are assured by those who are intimately acquaintprominent feature in the landscape, is in excellent pre

ed with the ruins, that no trace of even this solitary servation; on the north side it is a very little off the per

word is now to be found. Possibly, it may have been pendicular, but, nevertheless, strong and massive, it

obliterated by some one who fancied there was a perseems, with time-defying front, still capable of braving

sonality in the word. the fury of very many winters. In an apartment under

Inchcolm was for several years tenanted by an Edinthis tower there resided, about five and thirty years burgh citizen, who effected various alterations, we cannot ago, or thereby, a recluse fisherman of the name of conscientiously say improvements, on the buildings. He l'homas Brown. He was a married man, and had a caused part of the old roofs to be taken off, and substi. family at Inverkeithing, of which place he was a native, tated a modern slating instead, which however much it but we have been unable to learn from wbat cause he might improve the comfort of the place as a dwelling. estranged himself from them, and took up his solitary house, harmonised exceedingly ill with the other parts residence on this island. He never shaved or cut his of the buildings. In several places also he introduced hair, and consequently he very soon became a conspicu scraps of modern building, such as a battlemented wall ous personage when he ventured ashore at Aberdour, on the top of a fine old semicircular arch, and similar which he occasionally did, for the purpose, it is presumed, matters utterly out of keeping with surrounding objects. of disposing of his surplus stock of fish. He was kindly The island is at present occupied by a party who farms treated by the Earl of Moray, the proprietor of the it from th: Earl of Moray, and as the apartments which were modernised are not all required by him, part of abundant. There is a pretty large garden to the west them are neglected and going to ruin; indeed they ac- | of the ruins, sloping towards the south, with a soil capatually seem more woe-begone-like than those portions

ble of being very productive, but little attention ap

pears to be paid to it. Indeed we are compelled to say which the monks committed to that reckless custodier

that altogether we were much struck by the apparent neold time, and which man has not intermeddled with. glect with which this fine old ruin is treated by the proThe windows of what formed the drawing-room are prietor. Nothing seems to be cared for unless what broken and dirty, and it is now converted into a store

can be converted into money. Many landlords would room for sacks of barley. The kitchen, with its modern

delight in preserving and keeping in order such a pic

turesque and time-honoured ruin, but here all is left apartments, is deserted and cheerless, and the only

to the chapter of accidents. place almost that betokens fitting occupation is the din A little to the south-east of Inchcolm there rises a ing-room, which for some months past has been used as large bare rock called Gar-craig, or the Prison rock, a painting room, by a talented Edinburgh artist, who,

and to this, it is said, such of the brethren as were besides finished paintings of the monastery, and some of

guilty of any venial fault, were transported for a brief

space. The name of this work is locally Carkarey, and the most interesting scenery in the neighbourhood, has

some fanciful etymologists have imagined that this enriched his portfolio with a variety of sketches of this sounded very like Carcere, and consequently that the and the other islands in the Firth. In one of the arch name was bestowed on aceount of the purposes to which ed apartments on the ground floor, used as a milk

it had been appropriated. The channel which sepa

rates the island from the mainland is called Mortimer's house, there is a large square stone on which are carved

Deep, for which tradition assigns the following reason. two ornamented funnel-shaped hollows, but we could not The noble family of Mortimer had at one time large ascertain from what part of the ruins it had been possessions in this part of Fife, and they bestowed one taken.

half of the parish of Aberdour on the monks of InchA little to the west of the monastery, on a rising

colm, on consideration of obtaining a place of sepulture

within the monastery. A storm having arisen while ground, a stone is pointed out, said to be a Danish

the body of one of the knights of this family was being monument. It is about four feet long, and six inches conveyed to the island, it was cast overboard in order thick, and bears considerable resemblance to the upper to lighten the boat, and thence originated the name. part of the headstones most common in our church. The existing tradition on the spot is, that the parties yardı. Sibbald gives an engraving of it, in which it is

who had charge of the boat being ignorant of the tides, represented as having a human head at each end, but

which run strong in this channel, and being caught in

an eddy, became alarmed, and, thinking they had a all trace of these has been long removed. The interme

Jonah in their boat, forthwith cast the body overboard. diate space appears also to have been carved, but no Sibbald, original as usual, says the whole was the configures can now be traced, indeed, there is little more trivance of certain " wicked monks," who, without any than an irregular roughness on the surface, to indicate

assignable motive, laid hold of the body, and “ did

throw the samen in a great deep.” Opposite to the that there has been something in relief. The stone is

island on the nearest point of land on the Fife shore, only a few inches above the ground.

are the remains of a building, popularly termed “ The St Columba seems to have resembled St Patrick, in Vout,” which is supposed to have belonged to the monat least one particular--an aversion to vermin. No astery, and to have been used as a storehouse for prorats, mice, toads, or frogs, are to be found on the island.

visions, &c., whence supplies were sent to the island as

opportunities occurred during the winter months. NearThere are a few rabbits however, and blackbirds,

er the harbour of Aberdour there is a large rock named thrushes, robins, and wrens, are tolerably plentiful, and the Bell Rock, to which, according to tradition, a large a hawk built its nest on the south rocks for several bell was attached, for the purpose of summoning the years. The west end of the island is frequented by

people of Aberdour to Inchcoln, on special occasions. seals which likewise abound on the adjacent rocks.

In conclusion, it may be added, that although there is

no proper landing place at Inchcolm, boats can generally There are three wells of excellent water on Inchcolm,

be brought quite close to the rocks. The occupants of one of these, a very large draw-well, is close to the the island, so far from throwing any obstructions in ruins. Those portions of the island which are under the way of strangers, are exceedingly kind and attentive cultivation produce excellent crops of barley, and the to all visitors. pasturage, especially on the western part, is rich and Jan. 18 16.

POETRY.
Night.

The COLOSSAL STATUE OF OZYMANDI AS.
BY J. B. WHITE.

“Ruins whose very dust hath ceased to be."-Reade. Mysterious Night! when our first Parent knew

I saw a traveller from an antique land, Thee, from report divine, and heard thy name,

Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Did he not tremble for this lovely Frame,

Stand in the desert. Near them in the sand, This glorious canopy of Light and Blue?

Half-sunk, a shattered image lies, whose frown, Yet, 'neath a curtain of translucent dew,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Bathed in the rays of the great setting Flame,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Hesperus with the Host of Heaven camne,

Which yet survive, stamped on those lifeless things, And lo! Creation widen'd in Man's view.

The hand that worked them, and the heart that led; Who could have thought such darkness lay conceal'd And on the pedestal those words appear, Within thy beams, o Sun? or who could find

“ MY NAME IS OZYMANDIAS, KING OF KINGS, Whilst fly, and leaf, and insect stood reveald,

LOOK ON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR!"
That to such countless Orbs thou mad'st us blind? Nothing besides remains. Round the decay
Why do we, then, shun death with anxious strife! Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
If Light can thas deceive, wherefore not Life?

The love and level sands stretch far away.- Shelley.

THE MINES AND MINERAL WEALTH OF SCOTLAND.

By JAMES NICOL, Esq., Author of Geology of Scotland. The mineral wealth of the southern part of Great the shepherds in this neighbourhood, though of small Britain has been well known from ancient times. The dimensions. One piece, but impure or mixed with vein voyages of the Phænicians to the Cassiterides or tin stones, is said to have been found, weighing thirty ounces; islands of the west, notwithstanding the careful conceal- ! others of five ounces are mentioned; and Lord Hopetoun ment of that people, so jealous of their commercial ad is stated to have a piece weighing an ounce and a half vantages, did not escape the notice of the inquisitive in his possession. Greeks, and are mentioned by Aristotle, 32 B. (. This most valuable of the metals appears to have This ancient celebrity of the tin mines of Cornwall arose been discovered about the same time in some other of not only from their great productiveness, but from the the valleys of the same mountain range, as in the river scarcity of this valuable metal in other countries then, near Langholm and in Meggat in Peebleshire. The known. For a long time Cornwall supplied almost the laird of Merchiston is also reported to have procured whole world with it, and at present furnishes nine-tenths gold from the Pentland hills, where it was probably of that produced in Europe.

connected with another geological formation, or the clayNo such favourable circumstance led to the early de stone porphyries of that group. Even lately we have velopment of mining industry in Scotland. It had no heard of grains of gold picked up in the sand of the such useful yet scarce mineral to boast of ; and the un North Esk, which has its sources among these hills. settled state of the country long prevented due attention No veins containing gold are now known in any part of from being paid to those which it in reality possessed. Scotland, and there is no reason to believe that it would In a thinly peopled country, whose inhabitants were en- ! repay the labour to wash the sand for it in those places gaged in constant feuds, even the wealth exposed on the where it formerly was collected. surface was neglected, and of course still less regard ! Silver has very seldom been mined on its own account paid to those treasures which the bosom of the earth in Scotland. One of the richest veins appears to have might conceal. In the survey of Scotland, with which I been that in the parish of Alva, in Stirlingshire, among Buchanan commences his history, the occurrence of lead the Ochil Hills. This mine was first wrought by Sir and other metals is mentioned only in a few places in John Erskine, of Alva, in 1710, and some portions of the Western Isles and the Orkneys. This neglect must, the ore were so rich that fourteen ounces of it prohowever, be imputed rather to the unimportance of the duced twelve ounces of pure silver. It was also so mines then known, than to the absolute deficiency of this abundant, that in one week L.4000 sterling worth was branch of national industry, whose rude beginnings procured; and during the time it was open, it is reported must be placed at a still earlier period. As generally to have produced more than ten times that amount of happens, it was the precious metals that first tempted the silver. The veins were, however, soon lost or exhausted, cupidity of men to search for mineral wealth. Almost and the mine was shut up. In 1759 it was again openin the centre of that mountain chain which traverses the ed, -the proprietor and some of his friends having formed south of Scotland from east to west, is a wild, bleak, a company for working it. The veins were pursued and dreary region, on which cultivation has made both horizontally into the hill, for a considerable space very partial encroachments. Here, near the sources of beyond the old workings, and also by pits for a short the Tweed, Clyde, Nith, and Annan, the four largest distance lower. In forming a level to drain the latter, rivers of the south of Scotland, are grouped some of a mass of cobalt ore was found, and on searching the its highest summits, showing the power and efficacy of refuse of the old workings more of this metal. In the igneous forces by which they have been elevated. the vein itself, however, only small strings of ore, inIn one portion of this wild district, named Crawford sufficient to defray the expense, appeared, and the workMoor, in the end of the fifteenth century, in the reign of ings were discontinued. Of some remains of the ore James IV.,a considerable quantity of gold was found scat in the possession of Lord Alva, a pair of communion tered through the fields, and in the numerous mountain cups were formed in 1767, and presented to the church torrents that run down from the surrounding hills. of Alva. In a survey of the surrounding country, silThis discovery led to more regular researches, the peo ver, cobalt, lead, iron, and copper ores, were found in ple collecting the sand and washing it. In the time of fourteen or fifteen places in this range of hills. Some James V. rich veins of gold are reported, by Leslie, to | veins have been mined near Castle Campbell, on the have been found in the same place, and some miners east, and, as we shall afterwards notice, near Airthrey, from Germany examined the country. They collected on the north of the hills. From all these circumstances the earth into heaps, and seem to have procured from we consider this as a mining field well worthy of attenit some valuable ores, which they transported to their tion. The hills consist in a great part of those felspar native country, probably having no means in Scotland and porphyry rocks, in which these metals occur in of extracting the metal. For this privilege they are other regions of the earth. It is also evident that in a said to have paid a high price to the king, though pop pastoral district, where the surface of the ground is sel. ular tradition probably exaggerated both this and the dom disturbed, mines are not likely to be discovered by value of the discovery. There cannot, however, be any accident, but must be sought for intentionally. doubt that gold to a considerable amount was found, At a still earlier period in the reign of James VI., which was coined into money, named Bonnet-pieces. silver was wrought in a mine discovered near Cairn There is a tradition that the king, when hunting with Naple, about three miles south of Linlithgow, by one some foreigners in this bleak region, after dinner pre Alexander Mund, a coaller. The quarry, still named sented to them, as a dessert, dishes containing several of the Silver Mine, is in a limestone rock, of remarkable these pieces, saying that such were the fruits yielded by thickness, in which a few metallic veins occasionally his barren mountains. Three hundred men are reported appear. The silver was extracted from a red-colourto have been employed for some summers, who colleeted ed stone, and was coined into groats at Linlithgow, L.100,000 sterling worth of gold. Another tradition where the court then sometimes resided. Lead ore was ascribes this speculation in gold-gathering to Sir Bevis afterwards found, and each ton of this metal yielded Bulmer, master of the inint to Queen Elizabeth; and it seventeen ounces of silver. The mine, however, was soon was not improbably several times repeated, and only exhausted, and all recent attempts to find metal having discontinued when found to be unprofitable. This, it is proved unsuccessful, it is now wrought only as a limerelated, took place when a man's daily wages rose to four- stone quarry. On the south side of the Pentlands, near pence. Grains of gold are still occasionally collected by Linton, a lead mine very rich in silver has also been wrought in former times. Its discovery is placed in the 1 eral Kingdom, a work of very great merit for the time time before the union of the crowns; and Mary of Guise, when it was produced, says of this place, that “it is a according to popular tradition, got all tho silver from it, noble mining field for an able, skilful, prudent company with which she paid her troops during her regency. The to engage in; and I am persuaded, that some time or mine is now deserted, though still retaining the name of other, when the best veins shall be properly opened and Leadlaw and Silver Holes, whilst veins of lead ore may pursued, this will prove one of the best, and most exbe seen in the porphyry rock thrown out in forming the tensive copper-mining fields in Britain, if not in Europe." shaft. These are the only places we know of where sil As Williams was a man of very considerable knowver has been wrought in Scotland, though veins of its ledge and practical experience, this opinion of his ought ores have been discovered in a few other places, as in not to be neglected, and is well deserving of the attenEssie parish in Forfar, and near Kingussie in Inverness. tion of the proprietors of the district. The latter is interesting, as being situated in the primary Antimony only occurs in a few places in Scotland. It formations, which in Norway contain many rich mines. has been found along with copper ore at Dalmore, in The geological connection of the Scandinavian moun Stair parish. A mine of antimony was discovered in tains with the Scottish Highlands, renders it not im 1760, at Glendinning, in Westerkirk parish, and forty probable that the latter may yet exhibit veins of more men employed in extracting the ore, which was manuvalue than any now known.

factured into sulphuret of antimony. It was most proWe already noticed copper as associated with the ductive in 1793 to 1798, in which time an hundred tons ores of silver in the Ochil Hills, and as formerly mined of the sulphuret of antimony, worth L.8400, were proat Airthrey, in Logie parish. It was wrought in the cured from it. The ore yielded fifty per cent. of metal, seventeenth century by an ancestor of the Hopetoun and was contained in a vein twenty inches thick, along family, who seems to have been engaged in most of the with quartz, calc spar, and blende. Antimony has also Scottish mines open at that period, Sibbald informs us been found near Keith, Banffshire, on the property of that green, blue, and violet-coloured ores were extracted, the Earl of Fife. which produced fifty per cent, of metal. In 1761-64, Tin ore has not, so far as we are aware, been disthe mine was again opened by an English company, covered in any part of this country. Manganese occurs who procured about L-300 worth of silver and copper in small quantities in Dumfriesshire, and along with iron ore, but their agent having failed, the workings were ores in the hills south of Lamancha, Peeblesshire; but discontinued. The vein was in a dark coloured tufa or in neither place has it been wrought. A vein of grey claystone rock, which also gives rise to the mineral manganese ore has been mined at Grandholme, on the spring for which the place is now celebrated. Another Don, near Aberdeen, but with no great success. Quickvein of copper about eighteen inches wide, was mined silver is reported to have been found in the alluvial about the close of the last century, in the mill glen near clays near Berwick, the only instance, we believe, where Tillicoultry, but likewise proved unprofitable. In the mid this mineral has occurred native in Great Britain. dle of the eighteenth century, an unsuccessful attempt The most important Scottish minerals by far are was made to open a copper mine in Kilsyth parish. In those of lead and iron. The former has been discoverdications of this mineral have also occurred in other ed in more or less abundance in almost every part of parts of the country. In the old red sandstone of Ber the kingdom, and in all its various formations. This wickshire, it has been found in the parishes of Lauder, metal was dug at an early period in Islay and other of Longformacus, and Buncle, and also in connection with the Western Isles, and in five or six places in the Ork. the greywacke and felspar porphyries forming the north neys, probably by the Northmen who long possessed ern part of that county. The red sandstone on the these parts of the country, and who would be acquainted Clyde, near Gourock, contains copper ore; and many with the principles of mining practised in their native land. veins of this metal have been observed in the same The mines at Leadhills, in Lanarkshire, were also early rock, on the coast of Caithness, in some of which, near discovered, and till very recently were the most produce the old castle of Wick, mines were for a short time tive in Scotland. As already noticed, gold was found open. In Yell, and others of the Zetlands, copper ores here, in the reign of James IV., and it was probably have been found; and in the beginning of the present when searching for this more precious metal that Marcentury, 472 tons of ore were taken from the Fair Isle tin Templeton discovered lead ore in the bed of a small to Swansea, in England, but the mine was discontinued. rivulet in 1513. These mines were first wrought by

Attempts to open copper mines in Scotland have again Douglas of Parkhead. The connected veins in the county been recently made. In the spring of last year (1845), of Dumfries seem to have been discovered about the some veins near Loch Kishorn, in Applecross, long same time, as in 1529 one Ninian Crichtoun obtained ago pointed out by Williams, as containing some of the a license from the king to work in the mine of lead withbest copper ore he ever saw, were begun to be wrought, in the barony of Sanquhar for three years. The latter but with what success we have not heard. The ore there mines were subsequently the property of the Queensberry is of a reddish grey colour, and of high specific gravity. family, from which they passed to that of Buccleuch. Veins of iron ore are found in the same hill, which is The former at Leadhills were, in the beginning of the composed of limestone. Still more recently it has been seventeenth century, the property of one James Foulis, announced (August 1845), that a company from Corn whose daughter having married Thomas Hope, the wall have rented the mines at Cally, near Gatehouse, King's Advocate, the mines came into the possession in Galloway, for twenty-one years, and mean to expend of the Hopetoun family, by which they are still retained. L.40,000 in giving them a fair trial. Further east a The whole of these mines lie in a circle of hardly three copper mine is wrought on Heston Island, in Auchen miles in diameter. The surrounding country is bleak cairn Bay, the ore being sent to Swansea. On the same and mountainous, and it is only the subterranean wealth coast near Colvend, south of the granite of Criffel, mineral which has attracted population to this lofty district, 1500 veins have been long known. In 1662, the king, Char feet above the sea. Some time ago the village of Leadles II., granted liberty to William Lord Parbroth, and bills was inhabited by nearly 1200 people, and Wanto Lindsay of Wauchope, to search out and work all

lockhead by about 1000, distinguished for their steady, mines and minerals in the parish of Southwick and

industrious, and temperate habits. In the middle of Colvend; and this grant was ratified next year by the par

last century, they had a very different character, and liament. With what success this undertaking was at many classes of the workmen were much addicted to tended does not appear, except from the fact that it was the use of spirituous liquors. At that time most of the Boon discontinued. In 1770, a century later, the mines smelters died either madmen or idiots; but by improve, were again begun, but soon left off, either from want of profit or patience. Williams, in his History of the Min

* Vol I., P 133, 436.

ment in the construction of the furnaces, and by refrain-| quarters, where new mines offer greater prospects of ing from drinking any thing except water when work encouragement. ing, they now live as long and rationally as other people. Lead ore is found in many other parts of this chain of Even then, however, instances of extreme longevity were hills, principally in the vicinity of the igneous felsparnot unknown among the miners; and one of them, named porphyry veins. At Minnigaff in Galloway, a vein was John Taylor, died, in 1770, at the age of 132 years, discovered in 1763, when forming a road. Its produce having wrought in the mines till he was 112, and retain varied from thirty to four hundred tons of ore annually, ed his faculties till the last, so as never to require to but is now abandoned. In the parish of Kells, in a line use spectacles.

towards the Leadhills, other veins have been observed, Leadhills is remarkable as the place where perhaps whence some persons have been inclined to conjecture the oldest public library in Scotland, at least among the | a connection of all these veids with each other. A mine working classes, was established. This happened in promising to become of more importance, has lately 1741, the project originating entirely among the miners, been discovered in making a farm-road, near Carsphairn, who still jealously maintain its character as a miner's in Galloway. The vein of pure ore was in some places library, and will not permit the neighbouring population two and a-half-feet thick, and nests of it weighing about to partake of its benefits. Allan Ramsay, a native of a hundred-weight occur. Its present produce is not the village, was one of its early benefactors; and in known to us. Other veins have been discovered in this 1841, a century after its origin, it numbered 1800 vol. vicinity, at Afton, near New Cumnock, and also in other umes. Wanlockhead has a similar library, of 1300 vol parts of Ayrshire and Galloway. In the eastern part umes, but regulated on less exclusive principles. In of the southern mountain group, lead ore has been found both villages the parents are anxious to give their child near Langholm, in some parts of Roxburghshire, and ren a good religious and intellectual education; and often at Grieston, in Peebleshire. In none of these places, endure many privations in order to accomplish this end. however, has it been so abundant as to encourage the The result may be best stated in the words of the Go. establishment of mines. vernment Commissioner: -" The children of the poor The principal lead mines in the central district of labourers of Leadhills are under as good, or, perhaps, Scotland have been already noticed, as producing either under a better system of intellectual culture than even silver or copper, and none of them seem now in operathe middle-class children of South Britain generally;" | tion. Besides these, it has been observed in many other and display a far higher degree of intelligence than is places, as in the Lomond Hills, and in Kemback parish, to be found in similar classes in other parts of the in Fife; but as the amount does not appear sufficient to island. It is however to be regretted that symptoms of ustify mining, and its occurence is not otherwise intera decline from their ancient high character have recently esting, we need not notice these further. Among the been observed in this district, ascribed partly to defect metamorphic rocks in the north of Scotland, veins of ive education, to the introduction of strangers in conse lead ore frequently occur. On the mainland, mines have quence of a strike, and to bad example in the higher been several times opened at Tyndrum, in Breadalbane, classes. The population had also diminished of late, about but as often abandoned for want of success. The vein eighty men having left in 1841 for the mines at Cars has been traced for about ten miles in length, and when phairn, so that the population of the two villages would recently examined, was found to contain also ores of not exceed seventeen or eighteen hundred At Lead cobalt and silver in considerable quantity, which had hills, the health of the smelters has been greatly promo been formerly neglected from ignorance of their value. ted by carrying the chimneys of the furnaces some hun. Several other veins with ores of lead, copper, iron, ardred yards along the sides of the hills, the expense of senic, and other metals also appeared in a recent survey construction being more than defrayed by the lead depo of this Highland district, and it seems not improbable sited in them, amounting to ten per cent. on the pro that some of them may be wrought with a profit. At duce of the whole ores smelted.

Strontian in Sunart, and at Lurg in a neighbouring At Wanlockhead, three veins are wrought, and at glen, lead mines also containing copper ores have been Leadhills four, varying from the width of a few inches to in operation for a considerable number of years, and nine or ten feet. The Sussanah vein at the latter, in when most successful the former are reported to have one place, contained a thickness of fourteen feet of pure yielded about L.4000 worth of lead annually. In other ore, and has been wrought to a depth of 840 feet. In parts of Argyle and in Invernesshires, lead ore has general, however, the veins become less rich below fifty been discovered, as near the head of Lochfine in Lochor sixty fathoms, and the workings are not carried deeper goil parish, where it was remarkable for the great than a hundred. Along with various ores of lead, those amount of silver it contained. Lead ore likewise occurs of other metals--iron, copper, zinc, manganese, and ar near Ballater, in Aberdeenshire. A lead vein in limesenic, with several minerals, as quartz, calcareous spar, stone, at Stotfield, Morayshire, was wrought nearly a heavy spar, mountain cork, are met with in the veins. century ago, but was found unproductive. It has also The lead contains about eight or ten ounces of silver in been discovered in the Duke of Richmond's property in the ton, but this does not pay the expense of extracting Strathdon, Banffshire; in several places in Caithness it. In the seventeenth century most of it was exported - but presenting no points of particular interest. to Holland for this purpose. The produce of the mines In the Western Isles lead mines have been long open varies much in different years. Those of Wanlockhead in the island of Islay, where their occurrence is noticed in the fifty years preceding 1835, yielded 47,4 20 tons, by Buchanan the historian. They appear never to or nearly 950 tons per annum. In recent times, the have been of great importance, and we believe are now quantity seems to be much diminished, as in 1829 and neglected. Lead mines have also been attempted in 1830 the average was little more than half this amount. Coll and Lismore but with no greater success. In At Leadhills a similar diminution has taken place, Hoy, Stromness, and Stronsay, in the Orkneys, lead ore the produce having fallen from 1562 tons in 1809, to has also been found, but not in such abundance as to be about 700 tons a few years ago. In the beginning wrought with profit. In concluding this notice of lead of this century the average annual produce of both mines in Scotland, it will be seen that most of them districts was estimated at 60,000 bars, or 3800 tons, have proved failures. This will appear less wonderful the value of which, owing to the high price of lead, was when it is considered that they have in almost every about L.126,000. From the diminished produce, and case been begun and carried on by persons wholly ignothe fall in the price of lead, the annual value of late has rant both of the theory and practice of mining. In been only about L.15,000. Even this smaller produce many respects this is much to be regretted, as the same has been, we understand, much decreased in the last expenditure of money and labour properly directed, year or two, by the miners leaving the district for other might have led to very opposite results, and produced

« AnteriorContinuar »