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Donald Cameron of Clunes's Evidence at the Trial of John Cameron of Fassifern
February 15, 1754

15th Feb: 1754

Donald Cameron of Clunes, aged about 72, depones that he has lived all his life at Cluins his own House, which is within a mile of Achnacarrie, the House of Lochiel; and that he was well acquainted with Sir Evan Cameron of Lochiel with his eldest son and heir John Cameron of Lochiel, and with Donald Cameron of Lochiel eldest son of the said John, that he was employed by John Cameron of Lochiel in his business, and particularly in lifting his rents; that, he remembers, that in Harvest 1713 the Deponent being at John Cameron of Lochiel's House. John showed him two Bonds of Provision granted by him to his two Sons Alexander and Evan; that to Alexander was for 8000 merks and that to Evan was for 6000 merks, but that he does not remember the date of the Bonds; that the said Alexander and Evan Cameron were at that time according to the best of the Deponents Remembrance, under age; and that Sir Evan Cameron was then alive. Depones, that the said John Cameron had at the time two other younger sons, to wit, John the Prisoner his second Son and Archibald his youngest son, and that John told the Deponent that he intended for his second Son the Prisoner, his Estate in the West Indies, which he reckoned would make him equal to Donald Cameron his eldest son. Depones, that in the year 1717 or 1718 to the best of the Deponent's Remembrance, he saw the said John Cameron of Lochiel at Locharkaig and Merchaig, but at these times he was a very short time with Lochiel and remembers nothing material that passed. Depones, that at the time above mentioned in the Harvest 1713 Lochiel in his Presence delivered the Rights of the West Indies Estate to his second Son John the Prisoner, and desired him to deliver the same to his elder Brother Donald to be kept with Donald until John should be of Age; and that the said John delivered the said writings to Donald accordingly And according to the best of the Deponents Remembrance these things happened at the aforesaid Meeting in Harvest 1713. That in the years 1721 or 1722, John Cameron, the Prisoner, went from Scotland to the West Indies in order to enter into the said Estate which the Deponent was informed had been formerly under the Management of Evan Drummond Son to Bochadie: that he was informed the prisoner had sold the estate to the said Evan Drummond at £500-sterling - Depones: That when the prisoner went to the West Indies as aforesaid, his Father he believes was not in Scotland but his elder brother Donald Cameron was, and he believes he, the said Donald, was 21 or 22 years of Age at that time - Depones, that about the year 1741 or 1742, Donald Cameron of Lochiel told the Deponent, that he had some time before granted Bonds of Corroboration to his brothers Alexander and Evan, of the Bonds of Provision granted to them by their Father above mentioned - Depones, that he was witness to Donald Cameron of Lochiel his borrowing the sum of 5000 merks from Stewart of Appin deceased, and that the transaction was in Appin's own house of Leitershuna. And that he was witness to the telling down of the money, and to the execution of the Bond by Lochiel as Principal and by Ludovick Cameron of Torcastle, and Donald Cameron at Strontian, as Cautioners, and that he is one of the instrumental witnesses to the aforesaid Bond; that he does not know to what particular Purpose this money was applied, but knows that Lochiel was always in Straits; And being interrogate for the Complainer, if Allan MacLauchlan was present at the Time of granting of the Bond, but whether he was bound in it or not, he does not remember. Depones, That he knew John Bennet who was Gardiner to the three Lochiels above-mentioned, for the space of three and twenty or four and twenty years, but can neither specify in what year he left the last Lochiel's service, or in what year he came first to the Service of the Family, but remembers that he was then but a Boy. Depones, That after Bennet left Lochiel's Service, he was a Servant of Glengarie's, and came frequently to pay a Visit at Lochiel, and called at the Deponent's House, and remembers one particular Time, when he was returning from Lochiel, he told the Deponent, That he had then got a Bond from the last Lochiel, for all his Fees, and that the Bond was for £50 or thereabouts; that the Deponent cannot re-collect the precise Time of this last Conversation, but is sure, that it was before the year 1745. Depones, That from the year 1722, Fassfern the Prisoner was a considerable Dealer, particularly in importing Meat to that Country, in buying and selling Cattle, and he had a Distillery of Spirits, and was looked upon as a rich Man. Depones, That Donald Cameron of Lochiel was understood to be in straitened circumstances, borrowing money where ever he could find it, and particularly, that the Deponent lent him 6000 merks upon a Wadset; and the Deponent believes, that this was occasioned by his Expence about his House, by building Parks, a Summer-House, and making a fine Garden, and by his great Expense when he went from Home; and knows, that the sum lent by the Deponent, was applied to the Payment of a debt that Lochiel owed to his Uncle Allan Cameron. Depones, That the said Donald Cameron frequently told him, that he was in Use to be supplied with Money by his brother Fassefern, and that he used to mention that he received from Fassefern, sometimes a hundred, and sometimes fifty Pounds, and at other times other Sums; that he remembers he was present in the House of Auchnacarie, with the two Brothers, when Lochiel granted a Bond to Fassefern for £1000 Sterling; and at this Time, Fassefern delivered to Lochiel certain Bills and Receipts, paid to Lochiel at that Time by his Brother, he means advanced to his Brother, the Sum of £500 in Money and Bank Notes and that he heard some Time before, that Fassefern had got Part of that Money from Achaladder, his Father-in-law. And Depones, That at this Time, Lochiel said, that he intended to apply the foresaid Money to the Purchase of some Lands from Argour; that this Transaction, to the best of the Deponent's Remembrance, was in the year 1742, or 1743. Depones, That there were present at this Time, in the House of Auchnacarrie, Torecastle, Lochiel's Uncle, Cameron of Culchina, Lundivra, but does not remember whether Charles Stewart the Prisoner was there at the Time, tho' he rather thinks he was, and, upon the Complainer's Interrogator, depones, That he remembers one Mac Lauchlane who had the Wadset of Fassefern, and that he had heard that Lochiel and his Brother John redeemed that Wadset, but who advanced the Money, or in what Proportions, he was not informed, nor knows no further of that Matter. And depones, That Fassfern has a Right to some Lands in Argour from Mac Lean of Inerscatel. And, upon the Defender's Interrogator, depones that Donald Cameron of Lochiel desired him not to mention to his Lady any of the debts he was contracting, especially those that he was owing to his Brother, but gave no Reason for such his Desire. Depones, That himself, and several others of Lochiel's Friends were angry at Lochiel for borrowing so much Money from his Brother, because they apprehended Fassefern might come at the greater Part of his Brother's Estate. Depones, That John Mac Ingveg, wadsetter of Glendesserie, was foster-father to the said Alexander Cameron; that is, after Alexander was weaned, he was sent to Glendessarie's House, to be brought up there till he should be fit for the Schools, That upon that occasion, according to the Custom of the Country, Glendessarie set apart thirty cows, and Lochiel, the Father, the like Number, and they were all kept by Glendesserie, and the Produce of these Cows is intended to be for a Stock to the Infant when he sets up in the World; and he knows that when Alexander came to be fit to go to School, he was sent to the Schools upon Glendesserie's Expense; and that when he went abroad, that Stock was disposed of, and the Price given to Alexander, and that it amounted to £150 Sterling and upwards; That he cannot condescend upon the particular Time when Alexander went abroad, but knows it was before the 1745. And depones, That the said Evan Cameron, Lochiel's fourth son, went from Scotland to Jamaica, he cannot condescend on the particular Time, and that he carried along with him a good Number of Men and Women, and that he lived there some Time and then died, and that it was said he died very rich. And being interrogate what is the Prisoner's Character in the Country? Depones, That he is understood to be a Money-making Man, and fair in his Dealings.

Causa scientia patet, and all is Truth, as he shall answer to God.

Editor's NotesFrom "History of the Camerons of Clunes," by Frank Percy Stewart Cameron of Clunes, Kirkhill.  Additional information regarding Cameron of Fassifern's treatment by Hanoverian officials and the Camerons of Glen Nevis may be found elsewhere within the Clan Cameron Archives.