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Famous Farquharsons

Findlay Mor Farquharson

Farquhar, Findlay Mor’s father, moved over the mountains to the Braes of Mar on Deeside around 1450, where his father had some land and settled there. His sons were known as the “Farquhar’s sons”, and from this came the name Farquharson. He was appointed Baillie and Chamberlain of the ancient Earldom of Mar which had been annexed to the Crown and was granted much land as a reward. His son Donald married Isobel Stewart of the Mar family, heiress of Invercauld and Aberarder, and through her acquired a very extensive estate in Upper Deeside. He also acquired the square keep of Invercauld with its 7 foot thick walls sited on a plateau above the Dee.

Their son Findlay Mor, born 1487, thus became 1st Chief of the Farquharsons of Invercauld, and it is Findlay Mor whom all branches of Clan Farquharson claim as their founder and common ancestor. The clan’s Gaelic appellation of Clan Fhionlaidh also derives from him although the actual name of the clan derives from his grandfather.

The Records of Invercauld state that “Findla, commonly called Findla Mor on account of his gigantic size and great strength of body, who was also a man of fine parts, remarkable bravery and fortitude, was killed fighting in defense of the liberties of his country bearing the Royal Standard at the battle of Pinkie, anno 1547”. He is buried in Inveresk churchyard near Musselburgh in a plot called the Lang Hielandman’s Grave. 

John Farquharson 9th

John Farquharson of Inverey – The Black Colonel

The famous John Farquharson of the cadet family of Inverey was known as the Black Colonel due to his swarthy appearance and black hair. The Black Colonel was “a mettled independent gentleman”, fought for Viscount Dundee in the Jacobite Uprising of 1689, and carried on guerilla warfare after the defeat at Cromdale. He burned Braemar Castle which remained a shell for fifty years. He was outlawed and hunted relentlessly by Government troops. On one occasion he eluded capture by riding his horse up the precipitous rocky slopes of the Pass of Ballater. On another he was sleeping at home in Inverey Castle when the soldiers burst in. The Colonel jumped from the window and hid for several months in a rocky gorge in Glen Ey still called “The Colonel’s Bed” where his food was brought by his faithful wife Annie Ban (fair). John Farquharson of Inverey died in 1698. He had requested burial in the Chapel of the Seven Maidens at Inverey but was interred instead at the Kirk of St. Andrews at Braemar. His coffin reappeared on the surface the following morning and after this happed three times he was buried at Inverey where he now lies at peace. His targe and broadsword are preserved at Invercauld House

Francis Farquharson

Francis Farquharson of Monaltrie

Francis Farquharson was born in 1710 at Monaltrie House to Alexander Farquharson of Finzean and his wife Anne. He became known as the Baron Ban for his blond good looks and would inherit the title laird of Finzean.

As a young man, Francis held the job of factor to his uncle John, larid of Invercauld, but would fall out of favor with him for his Jacobite allegiance. Francis raised a force of 300 men and marched to join the Jacobite campaign. They fought at Inverurie and Falkirk, but most wouldn’t reach Culloden until after the battle. Francis, however, fought at Culloden and was taken prisoner. He, and several others, were taken by sea to London and imprisoned in the Tower. The government planned to execute them.

Francis was the last. Powerful friends and ministers of the Church of Scotland submitted petitions for his release praising his good nature and work for the church and schools. Another petition was submitted by a group of government soldiers who had been taken prisoner by the Jacobite army and told how Francis had protected them from attack in prison by Jacobite soldiers. Nothing worked. The day came and he was led out to execution. Francis was to get a last minute reprieve. 

Francis remained under house arrest for a few years and lived in Herfordshire. It is believed that he met his future wife, Margaret Eyre of Hassop here, and studied new farming methods which were revolutionizing agriculture and increasing food production. In 1788 former Jacobite lairds were given the opportunity to buy back their estates. Francis took advantage of this and moved back to Monaltrie where he implemented the ideas and improvements he had learned.

The original home had been burned after Culloden, so Francis built a new one that he called Monatrie and rebuilt the original farmhouse. Francis applied the new agricultural methods and new ideas for the built environment. He is credited with creating Ballater.

Colonel Anne

Anne Farquharson Mackintosh – Colonel Anne

Anne Mackintosh (1723–1784) was a Scottish Jacobit of the Clan Farquharson and the wife of Angus Mackintosh, chief of the Clan Mackintosh. She was the only female military leader during the Jacobite Uprising of 1745 and the first female to hold the rank of colonel in Scotland.

In early 1744 her husband was offered one of three new Independent Companies being raised to support the British-Hanoverian Government. Anne chose the rebel cause and, dressed in male attire, rode around the glens and enlisted 97 of the 100 men required for the captaincy. During the 1745 Uprising, Angus’ company fought for Government forces in the Highlands.

When the Jacobite Prince Charles Edward Stuart landed in Scotland in 1745, Anne Mackintosh, then 22 years old, forcefully raised between 200 and 400 men from Clan Mackintosh and the confederation of Clan Chattan for the Prince. As women could not command in the field, the regiment was placed under the command of Alexander MacGillivray the chief of the Clan MacGillivray, a member of the confederation. ‘Colonel’ Anne’s regiment joined the Prince’s army at Bannockburn, near Stirling Castle in January 1746, 12 days before the Battle of Falkirk Muir.

A month later the Prince was staying at Moy Hall, Mackintosh’s home. She received a message that 1,500 of Lord Loudon’s men, including her husband’s company stationed 8–12 miles away at Inverness, were planning a night raid on Moy Hall to snatch the Prince. Mackintosh sent five of her staff out with guns to crash about and shout clan battle cries to trick the Government forces into thinking they were about to face the entire Jacobite army. The ploy worked and the Government force fled. The event became known as The Rout of Moy.

The next month Mackintosh’s husband, who supported the Government and 300 of Loudon’s men were captured north of Inverness by the Jacobites. The Prince paroled Captain Mackintosh into the custody of his wife, commenting “he could not be in better security, or more honorably treated”. She famously greeted him with the words, “Your servant, captain” to which he replied, “your servant, colonel” thereby giving her the nickname “Colonel Anne”. She was also called “La Belle Rebelle” (the beautiful rebel) by the Prince himself.

A high number of her men, particularly the Clan Chattan men, and Alexander MacGillivray, were killed at the Battle of Culloden on 16 April 1746. Their grave is marked by the Well of the Dead on the battlefield. After the Jacobite defeat at the Battle of Culloden, Mackintosh was arrested and turned over to the care of her mother-in-law for a time. 

Mackintosh died on 2 Mar 1787 in Leith, the harbor district of Edinburgh. She is buried in Old North Leith Burial Ground on Coburg Street. Her grave is marked by a white Jacobite rose and a commemorative plaque.

Joseph Farquharson – The Painting Laird

Joseph Farquharson was a Scottish painter, chiefly of landscapes, mostly in Scotland and very often including animals. He is most famous for snowy winter landscapes, often featuring sheep and depicting dawn or dusk. He was born in Edinburgh and died at Finzean, Scotland.

Joseph combined a long career as a painter with his inherited role as Scottish laird. He painted in both oils and water colors. He was educated in Edinburgh and given his own paints at age twelve. A year later he would exhibit his first painting at the Royal Scottish Academy. He trained at the Trustees’ Academy in Edinburgh in the 1860s and later at the Life School at the Royal Scottish Academy. Joseph’s first exhibit at the Royal Academy was in 1873 and titled Day’s Dying Glow. 

Joseph’s first major portrait, of Miss Alice Farquhar, exhibited in 1884, but he is best known for works portraying sheep and human figures in dramatic landscapes. Nearly all are of rural settings and snow scenes became his trademark. He was best at capturing warmth and light of sun rises and twilight.