Monday, 23 December 2013

Black Mail

Found this in "The Kingdom of Kippen, its History and Traditions" (1903, William CHRYSTAL) on the Internet Archive.


FEW ancient customs are so generally, yet so imperfectly, known as that of black mail. 
It was, however, simply a lawful and beneficial service to the public which now falls 
to be performed by the police, or, in other words, money paid voluntarily by contract 
for the protection of property against the depredations of migratory freebooters who 
lurked on the borders of the Highlands. 
One of the original documents still in the possession of the descendants of 
Mr. Dunmore of Ballikinrain is drawn up as a contract between James and John Graham, 
elder and younger, of Glengyle, and gentlemen, heritors and tenants, within the 
shires of Perth, Stirling, and Dumbarton. The latter put themselves under the 
protection of the Grahams for an annual payment of £4 per £100 of rental. 
For this sum, the cattle, sheep, and horses were practically insured against loss, 
as the Grahams agreed either to return the cattle stolen within six months or make 
payment of their true value. Pickerey, such as the lifting of cattle or sheep in 
small numbers, was not to be considered as coming under the agreement, but any 
number above six was; and horses and cattle carried to the south, if not recoverable, 
were paid for by the Grahams at the discretion of the owners ; the contract to be 
nullified in the event of war. 
I was looking for any hints as to the origin of my mysterious 3* great grandmother 
Miss CHRYSTAL, presumed to be a Margaret from the naming pattern of her daughter's 
children and presumed to be married to a James MILLAR from Kippen, again from naming 
Lot's of assumptions yet to be confirmed in any way. 
The closest we've come is the baptism of an Emilia MILLAR to a John & Margaret MILLAR 
in 1817.

We do know that she belongs to mtDNA haplogroup T2 though. That narrows the field !!

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