Tuesday, 26 July 2016

McColl's Grave

According to the excellent booklet The Annals of the Parish, the grave surrounded by railings to the left of St Comghan's entrance is that of a Mr McColl, an Ardnamurchan Estate tacksman during the mid-nineteenth century. The Annals tells how the proprietor, Mr Dalgleish, refused to renew the lease of a tenant farmer in Ormsaigmore and ordered his eviction.

Mr McColl found the task difficult and, probably, very distasteful, and had to send to Oban for soldiers and a court officer to carry it out. As the farmer's bedridden wife was being carried from the house she cursed the tacksman, saying that when he died no grass would grow on his grave, only dockens and nettles.

The curse may have worked, as no grass grows on it, but it's now producing a fine crop of raspberries. Perhaps Mr McColl has finally been forgiven because, as the Annals suggests, this Mr McColl could not have been involved, having died in 1847, years before the incident.

The Annals of the Parish, which contains a wealth of information about the area, is available from the shop, the Community Centre, and the church.

1 comment:

  1. Greatly relieved to read this updated version of the topic. I believed this heartless tacksman to be my great great grandfather John McColl, tacksman of Mingary [when it was owned by James Miles Riddell], who died in 1843.