Historical Muthill

Muthill Museum Perthshire

For such a small village, historical Muthill has a lot going for it. It lies just a few miles west of the line of Roman outposts erected by the forces of Julius Agricola, and the nearest fort is just three miles away at Strageath. With the exception of many of the great landowners, the residents of Crieff and Muthill seemed quite unequivocal in their hatred of the Jacobite cause. The Jacobites were the followers of the Stuart royal dynasty, which included Bonnie Prince Charlie, and both communities were to pay dearly for their allegiance to the House of Hanover.

After the pro-Jacobite Earl of Mar's uprising in 1715, which the area refused to support, swift retribution was taken against Muthill. In mid-January 1716 it and many local villages and towns were burned to the ground, supposedly on the orders of the Old Pretender (James Francis Edward Stuart - father of Bonnie Prince Charlie).

The Highlanders, under the Chief of Clanranald, set about their task in the most heartless fashion. All animals were slaughtered, houses pillaged and whole villages put to the torch. One well-known incident concerned Muthill's Reverend Mr Halley who, at the time had an aged female relative dying in his manse. Despite remonstrations with the Highlanders that they should let her die in peace, the manse was fired. Not content with seeing the minister carry his relative out into the snow, where she shortly died, they even dragged and carried off the blankets from underneath her.

Incidents such as this help to explain the lack of support for Bonnie Prince Charlie thirty years later when eventually, the romantic Jacobite cause was lost forever.

In fairness to James, the original orders were to fire the crops, but some of the minor Highland leaders took this as a chance to settle old scores and indulge in their favourite pastime of plundering! When James heard of the atrocities committed in his name, he arranged for reparation to be made and the whole area received around £6000.

With the compensation and the opening up of the area, brought about by the new military road in 1742, out of the ashes of those early thatched cottages, grew a village very much like that of today.

Tullibardine Chapel. A small medieval church founded in 1446 by the Murray family for the use of the Earls and Dukes of Atholl. Marquis of Tullibardine is the title of the eldest son to the Duke of Atholl. The church today is no longer in use but is well preserved with much of the original architectural detail still intact.


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