The Ross-shire wanderer, Fearchair A Ghuna (Farquhar of the Gun).
Born in 1784 in Strathconon, Farquhar came from a family of smugglers and was the uncle of Lieutenant John MacLennan. Farquhar's father was an affluent crofter but the Ross-shire wanderer proved to be the black sheep of the family.
When he was younger, Farquhar was employed as a herd, in the parish of Redcastle. Having fallen asleep one day, allowing the cattle to stray into a cornfield, his enraged master hit him on the head with a spade, leaving Farquhar with a broken collar-bone. After having had several disagreements with excise officers and having witnessed his father being reprimanded for smuggling, he decided to take up the life of a nomad.
As an entertainer, Farquhar could be seen on the streets of Ross-shire, dressed in rags, chains and feathers. Small in stature, with long uncombed hair, he carried a large sack on his back. From his belt hung a sword and an array of pistols. However, he probably took his name from his most prized possession, an extremely large gun consisting of six barrels. This weapon was so heavy that he had to make a rest for it, and to earn money to buy the gunpowder, he could often be seen entertaining crowds with his own humorous version of a prayer.
Farquhar of the Gun died in Inverness Infirmary in 1868
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