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TITLE
Petition by Angus MacDonald, Laggan
EXTERNAL ID
Z_GB232_L_INV_HC_6_12_02
DATE OF IMAGE
1755
PERIOD
1750s
SOURCE
Highland Archive Centre
ASSET ID
5734
KEYWORDS
court papers
court records
Petition by Angus MacDonald, Laggan

Angus MacDonald has asked James Steuart, who describes himself as "writer" (a lawyer) to write a petition on his behalf to a Justice of the Peace, requesting that the two accused be arrested so that they can be brought to trial for the brutal murder of his father. The undated petition includes a description of the crime. Having considered the request, the JP writes the warrant for the arrests on the reverse of the same document.

Transcription of this page: Unto the Honble William McIntosh of Bell: :nespick One of His Majesties Justices of the Peace for the County of Inverness The Petition of Angus McDonald Lawfull son to the Deceast Alexander McDonald Tenant in Laggan in the Lordship of Badenoch
Humbly Shewith
That upon Friday last the seventh Day of March Current One Thousand Seven Hundered and Fifty five years, At a Burial, & in the Church:yeard of Laggan Alexander McDonald My Said Deceast father was assaulted Beaten and Bruised By Donald McWilliam alias McGillvantich, and Donald dow McTavish Both in Strathmasie, who with Great Rungs Staves or Battons Foundered and laid the said Defuct as (if dead) upon the Ground; And By the said Unmercyfull useage My said Father Died upon Sunday's night thereafterThe ninth of this month of March Current. And as the saids Donald McWilliam alias McGillvantich and Donald dow McTavish are guilty of Willfull Murder and ought to be prosocute for the same according to Law May it therefore Please Your HonourTo Grant Warrant To Aprehend & Transport the above persons Complained Upon To the County Goal of Inverness In Order to their Tryal For The Horrid Crime of Willfull Murder above sett furth, And Your Petitioner Shall Ever pray
A McD
Witnesses to the Petitioners Signing By the Initial Letters of his name James Steuart writer in Ruthven, John-McPherson Merc't & postmaster in Ruthven, and John Mc::Pherson Merchant in Islandow in the parish of Laggan Ja: Steuart Witness John McPherson Witness John Mcpherson Wittness

Some words are abbreviated, e.g. "Honble" for Honourable , and "Mc" for Mac throughout. Although by this stage surnames were becoming more fixed, (as demonstrated by the capital initial for "mac" literally, 'son'), "dow" (from dubh, meaning 'black') was recognised as descriptive rather than a name and therefore not given a capital letter. Steuart uses the long 's' only as the first letter of a double 's'. There was nothing unusual or necessarily sinister about the one of the accused having an alias. Married women are still referred to in Scotland by their maiden name first and "also known as" their married name in legal documents, on tombstones, etc.
More reminiscent of an older writing style, the word 'merc't' (line 33) has a line from the letter T across the top of the word to show contraction and when Steuart signs his name he uses a symbol over the letter U to distinguish it from N. Steuart also intertwines the initial letters of his first and surnames and decorates the last letter of his name.
The initials used by Angus MacDonald as his signature are written over more than once. He may have been guided in writing them


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Petition by Angus MacDonald, Laggan

1750s

court papers; court records

Highland Archive Centre

Inverness County Sheriff Court Records

Angus MacDonald has asked James Steuart, who describes himself as "writer" (a lawyer) to write a petition on his behalf to a Justice of the Peace, requesting that the two accused be arrested so that they can be brought to trial for the brutal murder of his father. The undated petition includes a description of the crime. Having considered the request, the JP writes the warrant for the arrests on the reverse of the same document.<br /> <br /> Transcription of this page: Unto the Honble William McIntosh of Bell: :nespick One of His Majesties Justices of the Peace for the County of Inverness The Petition of Angus McDonald Lawfull son to the Deceast Alexander McDonald Tenant in Laggan in the Lordship of Badenoch<br /> Humbly Shewith<br /> That upon Friday last the seventh Day of March Current One Thousand Seven Hundered and Fifty five years, At a Burial, & in the Church:yeard of Laggan Alexander McDonald My Said Deceast father was assaulted Beaten and Bruised By Donald McWilliam alias McGillvantich, and Donald dow McTavish Both in Strathmasie, who with Great Rungs Staves or Battons Foundered and laid the said Defuct as (if dead) upon the Ground; And By the said Unmercyfull useage My said Father Died upon Sunday's night thereafterThe ninth of this month of March Current. And as the saids Donald McWilliam alias McGillvantich and Donald dow McTavish are guilty of Willfull Murder and ought to be prosocute for the same according to Law May it therefore Please Your HonourTo Grant Warrant To Aprehend & Transport the above persons Complained Upon To the County Goal of Inverness In Order to their Tryal For The Horrid Crime of Willfull Murder above sett furth, And Your Petitioner Shall Ever pray<br /> A McD<br /> Witnesses to the Petitioners Signing By the Initial Letters of his name James Steuart writer in Ruthven, John-McPherson Merc't & postmaster in Ruthven, and John Mc::Pherson Merchant in Islandow in the parish of Laggan Ja: Steuart Witness John McPherson Witness John Mcpherson Wittness<br /> <br /> Some words are abbreviated, e.g. "Honble" for Honourable , and "Mc" for Mac throughout. Although by this stage surnames were becoming more fixed, (as demonstrated by the capital initial for "mac" literally, 'son'), "dow" (from dubh, meaning 'black') was recognised as descriptive rather than a name and therefore not given a capital letter. Steuart uses the long 's' only as the first letter of a double 's'. There was nothing unusual or necessarily sinister about the one of the accused having an alias. Married women are still referred to in Scotland by their maiden name first and "also known as" their married name in legal documents, on tombstones, etc. <br /> More reminiscent of an older writing style, the word 'merc't' (line 33) has a line from the letter T across the top of the word to show contraction and when Steuart signs his name he uses a symbol over the letter U to distinguish it from N. Steuart also intertwines the initial letters of his first and surnames and decorates the last letter of his name.<br /> The initials used by Angus MacDonald as his signature are written over more than once. He may have been guided in writing them <br /> <br /> <br /> For further information about this item and the collection to which it belongs, please <a href="mailto: archives@highlifehighland.com">email</a> the Highland Archive Service