Alexander Fisher 1814 - 1890
Alexander's father Patrick was removed with his parents and siblings from Alekich in 1795 after his father had been caught stealing wood. All that could be found for the family was a small portion of Mains of Murthly which had been spilt in three by its tenant, William Menzies. William had married Patrick's sister 13 years before.
Mary McLean, his wife to be, was baptised in the parish of Dull in 1813 at which time her parents Peter McLean and Janet Dewar were living in Borlick, another farm barely half a mile from Murthly. Murthly on the east side of the Pittiely Burn was in the Parish of Weem and Borlick, being on the west side, was in the Parish of Dull.
Alexander and Mary married in 1837. These photographs (rollover with mouse) were taken at Culdaremore, probably in the 1880s.
By 1836 a Ground officers report noted that Alexander was the possessor of Murthly, his father Patrick having died in 1831. Two years later he was in Lawers on the north side of Loch Tay where his first child was born. The family had probably become victims of the Breadalbane Clearances.
Five years before he died Charlie Fisher, Alexander's grandson , recounted the story that 'Alexander went to Canada after marriage to claim a property and money left to him but after getting there discovered the lawyers had spent it all so returned to Scotland and took over the Ben Lawers Hotel'. Alexander's uncle Donald had been trading dry goods with traders in Montreal but an inventory taken after Donald's death in 1831 showed that he was still owed £571. We have no written record of Alexander making a visit to Canada but Charlie Fisher was a very sensible man so it is almost certain that the story was genuine. The newspaper articles below certainly confirm the second part of the story.
Having returned empty handed to Perthshire, Alexander spent several years in Lawers and took 'posession' of the Ben Lawers Hotel, otherwise known as Crofthouse, where Mary gave birth to three children.
On 19 April 1838 an article in the Perthshire Advertiser reported that Donald McLeish, servant to Alexander Fisher, Benlawers Inn, had been awarded a prize in a ploughing match.
A series of advertisements in the Perthshire Advertiser between December 1839 and 1840 (right) confirmed that Alexander was the possessor of the Benlawers Inn and that attempts were being made to find a new tenant for the recently erected buildings. It is reasonable to assume that Alexander was the first tenant, if only an interim one.
By 1841 his employment category in the census record was 'Ind' (1.e. of independent means) suggesting he was unemployed and a permanent tenant had been found for the inn and its farm. He was living at Duallin with his wife Mary and children Janet and Robert. Their son Peter, born three years earlier at Lawers, was with his maternal grandparents at Borlick. Fifteen year old Janet that was with them was probably Alexander's sister.
Four of his children were born in Lawers.
By 1846 Alexander had left Breadalbane for good and was living and working on the Chesthill Estate in Glenlyon where Mary bore him another 6 children. In the late 1840s he acquired the tenancy of Culdaremore where Fishers remained for the next 120 years.
Alexander and Mary had 10 children. Donald, Margaret and Elizabeth died of tuberculosis. The first John died before statutory registration of deaths but it is likely he too had TB.
Alexander died in 1890 of general decay and Mary in 1893 of breast cancer.
Alexander and Mary's will
On second death the children were to receive the following bequests:
- Jessie Fisher wife of James Robertson Farmer, Kinloch Teagus -£100
- James Fisher, Grocer, Aberfeldy - £100
- Mary Fisher wife of James Simpson, Teacher, Fortingall - £100
- Elizabeth Fisher residing in family - £100
- Peter got nothing - 'We during our lifetime having made various payments and allowances to our son Peter Fisher farmer Borlick so do not consider him entitled to participate in the residue of our estate'.
- Robert and John Fisher - residue of estate and lease of farm
Page last updated - 23/1/17