Robert MacDonald - Extract from The MacDonald Bards from Medieval Times by Rev. MacDonald.
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Extract from "The MacDonald Bards from Medieval Times" by Rev. MacDonald. Pages 107-109
ROBERT MACDONALD, TEACHER,
On the 18th of October, 1818, at Strathgarve, Contin, Ross-shire, Mr Robert MacDonald published the following "family record":- "This record is to certify to all whom it may concern that I, the writer hereof, Robert MacDonald, was born of respectable parents at the west-end of Auldinie Bridge, near Loth, in the parish of Loth, Sutherlandshire, at three o'clock in the morning of Monday, the 22nd day of June, A.D. 1795, and was baptised by the Rev. George MacCulloch, minister of Loth. That my father is John MacDonald, farmer and cattle dealer, eldest son of Alex. MacDonald and Janet MacPherson, there. And my mother, Catherine MacDonald, eldest daughter of Robert MacDonald, weaver, and Christina Sutherland, Kintradewell, parish of Loth. My eldest brother, George, was a soldier in the 42nd Regiment, and was wounded, and died thereby, at Bayonne, shortly before the battle of Waterloo. I have living a sister named Isabella, and a brother named Alexander, both younger than myself. I had an uncle and three aunts on my father's side, namely, George, Betty, Isabella, and Elizabeth, and three uncles and one aunt on my mother's side, namely, Donald, John, William, Helen."
Dingwall, December 4th, 1821.
The issue of the marriage, namely, Georgina, Elizabeth, John, Margaret, Robert, Kenneth, Alexander, Roderick, Katherine, Henry Ebenezer, are all on the same page, with dates of birth, and certified as being a "true copy" by Roderick MacDonald, London.
His granddaughter, Mrs Margaret MacLeod, Glasgow, From whom the above information was obtained, says that he taught at Inverness, Keils, and Dingwall. His last teaching was in Gaelic, in his old age, to the late MacIntosh of MacIntosh at Moy Hall. She never saw any of his work except a small book of poetry in English and Gaelic, and a small pamphlet on "A Sermon to Asses," which is in the possession of her uncle at Partick, The date of his death I have been unable to ascertain. Robert MacDonald's poetic gift must, therefore, be judged by the following elegy on the death of Lady MacKenzie of Gairloch, who died suddenly in 1834 :-
Besides the above he wrote an elegy on the death of his daughter, Elizabeth, who died in childbirth, March 9th, 1866, aged 41.
He also published a small collection of religious poems as an affectionate warning, to which is added an appendix which is very severe on Christian women who ponder over amorous books, ballads, and romances, and all vain dressing of the body and hair, quoting Tertulian on the women of his time, "What doth this cumbersome dressing of the head contribute to your health? Why will you not suffer your hair to be at rest and lie quiet? which is sometimes tied up, sometimes relayed and made to hang down, sometimes frizzled and curled, sometimes put under the strict restraint of plaits, knots, and combs, and otherwise, and sometimes suffered to flutter and fly at random." It is equally severe on men for "drinking healths, tippling, carding, dicing, dancing, theatre-going, &c., &c., all the work of the Devil! and the houses for such are called "by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church" the Devil's temples, chapels, shops, and schools, the plays are called by them the Devil's spectacles, and the players the Devil's chiefest factors, evidently culled from the works of divines by a very religious man.