History - 18th - 19th Century

In 1711, following the Act of Union, the English reneged on the question of patronage, causing outrage among the church in Scotland, and resulting in the lobbying of the Westminster parliament for a number of years. The effect in Urquhart & Glenmoriston was that in 1724 admission to the Presbytery of Abertarff was obtained, while in 1732, an extremely favourable stipend was negotiated. The Rev John Grant was inducted into the parish in 1742, being imprisoned for some while thereafter, and released in 1748. One condition of his release was that he was required to report to Edinburgh to verify his continued good conduct, confirming that he was not a King James rebel. At this point he requested that the two years stipend which he missed through being in prison should be used for the provision of a new manse. Also at this time his daughter married a Major Alpin [Alpen?], but died soon afterwards. Major Alpin remarried and when John Grant retired from the ministry he spent his remaining years with Major Alpin and Major Alpin’s grandchildren.

The Rev James Grant, nephew of John Grant, then took over in Urquhart & Glenmoriston, his father having been unpopularly foisted on the people of Nigg. James Grant was a keen militia officer who lived and died in Balmacaan House. He tenanted three farms, collected the window tax, – pre-Trafalgar prices being very good – and did extremely well financially, and appeared to look after the people very well. The Missionary in Glenmoriston, the Rev James Fowler, married one of the Alpin [Alpen?] daughters and was then given preferment as the new minister of Urquhart & Glenmoriston when he requested, and was granted, a new manse. His induction was opposed in Urquhart, but his record in Glenmoriston was good, and he was well supported there. Following the death of James Fowler the Rev James Smith was inducted but he had an enemy in the minister at Laggan who rose up against him in 1842, resulting in a very bad time for the church in Urquhart, and this reflected badly on both the people and the minister, and James Smith died destitute the following year despite his good income. The next minister was the Rev McConnachie who started badly by borrowing against his stipend for investment purposes and was continually in financial trouble as a result. He was followed by the Rev Cameron who seemed to have no other interest than his congregation, but despite these ups and downs over the years there appeared to be no impairment to spiritual progress.

Balnain & Glenmoritson