As with the preceding chapter, there is not a lot known about this branch of the Fletcher Clan. John Fletcher, the second son of Archibald, the eighth chief, was born about 1678. He settled at Inveroran, which in those days was on the main drove road which ran between Tyndrum and Glen Coe, Today the main traffic route is to the east of Loch Tulla, and the old road across the Black Mount is marked on the map merely as a track which runs parallel to one of the old military roads built by General Wade in the mid-eighteenth century. He is remembered today, mainly as the builder of the bridge at Aberfeldy, near the Black Watch Memorial. John Fletcher is said to have led the Clan in the uprising of 1745 and in 1756 he was described in various documents as “wadsetter of Inveroran” (a wadset being a mortgage). He died in 1765, leaving one son, also named John.
John, who was born in 1727, married a girl named Mary Keith, and they had a family of two girls and two boys. Margaret, the eldest, was born in 1758, then came Mary, in 1760. Duncan was born in 1768, and the youngest, another John, in 1774. John, the father of this family, died in 1805. He was buried in the old graveyard behind Achallader Castle, and his headstone, with a coat of arms above the inscription, is in near-perfect condition, as may be seen from the photograph.
Duncan, John and Mary’s eldest son, took up a career in the army and reached the rank of Major. He died, unmarried, at St. Fillians, in 1868.
John, the younger son was born at Inveroran in 1774. he and his wife, Mary MacLaren, were buried in Glenorchy Churchyard at Dalmally, their gravestone indicating that he died in 1848. No dates are given for Mary, but the stone also commemorates their son, Colin, who died at Alloa in 1855 and was actually buried at Blairlogie.
John and Mary MacLaren had eight children, Peter, the eldest, died unmarried. Their second child, Mary, was born in 1807, and then came Janet in 1809. The second son, Donald, was born in 1810, and another girl, Ann, in 1812. Next came Colin, born in 1819. The two youngest sons, John, born about 1823, and Duncan, emigrated to Australia in about 1850 and no more is known about them.
Colin Fletcher married Agnes Percy, the daughter John Crerar, of Pulney. Until recently the whereabout of Pulney has been a mystery to me, and some time ago its very existence was questioned, but I have been told by a descendant of the Crerar family that this was a small house – now a ruin – at Pulney Loch, which is a very small lochan about two miles north of Dunkeld, in Perthshire. John Crerar was one of the Duke of Atholl’s stewards, and is depicted in the painting by Landseer “The Death of a Stag in Glentilt” with his brother, Charles, and the 4th Duke of Atholl and his son the Marquess of Tullibardine. Pulney, as I say, is now derelict, like so many of the small dwellings in the Highlands, many of them having been left to rot as a result of the gradual migration of the farming population to the towns, where more lucrative work was to be found and a higher standard of living enjoyed. In fact the United States seems to have been a most attractive prospect to many of the ambitious Scots of those days, and two of the children of Colin and Agnes also emigrated to America. These were John, who was born in 1848 – the same John Crerar Campbell Fletcher who helped to found the Clan Fletcher Society in 1921 and his brother, Colin, born in 1852, who married Mary Mackenzie, and died in New York in 1911, leaving a son Colin, and a daughter, Jessie.
¬© 1973 Margaret Mason