Tyndrum

I make no apologies to the Fletchers for including the Grieve family in this chapter, I am aware that they are not really entitled to appear in a Fletcher pedigree. However, in view of their very close connections over many years, with Mise Anne Grieve’s enthusiasm and hard work as Secretary of the Clan Fletcher Society in 1921-6, and having regard to the more recent help and interest shown by Mrs.Catherine Blair and her cousin, Mrs.Ann Carmichael Jones, from Sydney, Australia, I consider that they are worthy of inclusion. Those of the Grieve descent with whom I have had personal contact make no attempt to conceal their pride in their Fletcher ancestry.

The Tyndrum line commences with Angus Fletcher, who was born in 1779, the third son of Archibald Fletcher and Ann Campbell. Angus married Annie, the daughter of John Carmichael of Callander, and entered upon the tenancy of the Tyndrum Hotel, and also of Auchtertyre Farm. They had five sons and three daughters, and when Angus died in 1833 his widow and sons carried on both the hotel and the farm. In 1876, however, the hotel was relinquished, and the family continued to run the farm at Auchtertyre. Annie died at the age of 81 in the year 1877, and wes buried next to her husband, at Dalmally.

Archibald, the eldest son of Angus and Annie, lived at Tyndrum for a time. He had one son, Duncan. There is in existence a magnificent silver ornament (‘The Fletcher Trophy’) which was presented to Archibald Fletcher of Tyndrum in 1867, and he also possessed a ring which depicted the Fletcher crest, the bow and arrow which is illustrated on the cover of this book. The ring is now owned by Archibald’s great-grandnephew in New Zealand. The ‘Trophy’ stands about two feet in height, and is topped by models of Highland cattle and sheep, the base surrounded by various items used in the Highland Games, a hammer, curling stones, etc… This ‘Trophy’ was inscribed to Archibald Fletcher from Duncan, his son, and three other members of the family, namely Archibald Campbell, John Downie Fletcher, and Archibald Fletcher (12th Royal Lancers), stated to be grandsons of Angus Fletcher “formerly of Blackmount”. I have tried, so far unsuccessfully, to trace the connection betveen these three young men and the rest of the family of that period.

The second son of Angus and Annie, named Donald, took up farming at Pole, near Lochgoilhead. He lived from 1825 to 1872, and was buried at Dalmally. also on his gravestone is a memorial to Angusena Sinclair, who died at Tyndrum in November, 1872, aged 18 years. It does not state the relationship between them, but it seems most probable that she was in fact the daughter of Donald’s sister, Ann.

Ann Fletcher was the eldest of the three daughters of Angus and Annie Fletcher. She was born in 1820, and in January, 1841, married Peter Sinclair, of Achallader, who was a farmer. They had several children, and Ann died, a widow, in June, 1899, being buried in Glenorchy Churchyard at Dalmally.

Two of the sons of Angus and Annie went to Australia, John and Peter. John died there, but Peter, who was born in 1827, returned to Scotland after the death of his wife and daughter, and he died at “Abbotsford”, Calander, in 1908, which was the home of his younger brother, Angus, his final resting place being close to the other members of his family at Dalmally.

Shortly before the death of Annie Fletcher, her youngest son, Angus, who was born in 1830, took over the farm at Auchtertyre. He was, it is said, a very astute businessman, and although on first acquaintance seemed a rather modest and unassuming character, he could be the life and soul of the party when in the company of his sheep-farming friends. He himself was one of the best known sheep breeders in the Highlands in the late eighteen-hundreds, and he was also a Gaelic scholar and a collector of Gaelic and Celtic books. In 1900 Angus Fletcher retired from farming, and was given a farewell dinner at the Crianlarich Hotel by the local sheep-breeding fraternity. He took the house at Callander named Abbotsford, where he spent the remaining years of his life, a bachelor to the end. He was mourned by many when he died in March, 1911, and was reputed never to have lost a friend or made an enemy. He had been consulted many a time on problems of genealogy and Highland lore, and his niece, Miss Anne Grieve, inherited his great interest in the Fletcher ancestry, and conferred with him frequently on the subject. His funeral was attended by numerous old friends and neighbours, and he was finally laid to rest in Glenorchy Churchyard, with his parents and his sister, Margaret, who had died in 1898 at the age of sixty-six.

The youngest of Angus Fletcher’s children was Catherine whose deft fingers worked the intricate stitches of the sampler in the photograph when she was about ten years old. She married Michael Grieve of Callander, and they lived in the house named Wolseley Park, the next property to Abbotsford. These two houses are now guest houses, at the disposal of the many tourists who visit Callander some in search of the beauty of the Trossachs, but some, I fear, only looking for the familiar scenes and buildings used in the television production of “Dr. Finlay’s Casebook”.

Miohael and Catherine Grieve had a large family, twelve in all. Three of their sons died in infancy, and of the others one son John, went into banking, and died, unmarried, in Scotland. Another, Angus, died in Adelaide, also without having married. Three of the daughters, Anne, Kate and Mary, never married.

The eldest son, Robert (Grieve), went.in for farming, and lived at Auch, which is not far from Tyndrum. He married and had a family – Margaret married a Minister; Elizabeth became a hospital Matron, and Michael, his son, became landlord of the hotel at Crianlarich, where the farewell dinner was given so many years before for his great-uncle Angus.

Archibald Fletcher (Grieve), the second son of Michael and Catherine, was born in 1868 and died in 1941¬? He had three daughters, Catherine, Mary, and Annie – now Mrs.Jones of Sydney.

Michael, the fourth son of Michael and Catherine Grieve, took up banking as a career, and he and Helen, his wife, are both buried at Callander. He had one son, Michael, who went in for medicine, and a daughter, Helen, who lives in Australia.

The remaining child of Michael and Catherine Grieve was a daughter, Margaret. She married Duncan MacDiarmid of Finnart, Rannoch, and her daughter Catherine, became Mrs.Blair who now lives near Aberfeldy. Margaret and Duncan also had two sons, one Hugh, died in infancy, and the other, Michael, farmed a considerable acreage of land in the neighbourhood until he died in December, 1972. It is interesting to note that Mrs. Blair, is also descended on her father’s side from Mr, MacDiarnid of Dunan, Rannoch, to whom Grace MacNaughton Fletcher was married after the death of her first husband Angus Fletcher of Pubil, of whom more is said in the next chapter.

© 1973 & 1999 Margaret Mason

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