GENUKI   RathvenRathven

Rathven in 1842

Some years ago, two fairs were annually held in this parish ; but now there is only one, which takes place in the end of July for cattle, sheep, cheese, &c. At Buckie Burn, there is a post office, with a daily delivery. There is no regular market for butcher meat ; but at Buckie, and the other villages, wheaten bread and groceries can be procured.

Villages in the parish There are six villages, viz. five fishing; Buckie, Porteasy, Findochtie, Portnockie, Port Gordon, and Rathven, which requires no description.

Buckie is situated at the mouth of the Burn of Buckie, and belongs to Sir James Gordon, Bart., on the west side of this burn ; and on the east of it, to John Gordon, Esq. of Cluny. According to the last census, it contains a population of 2005. The West side has been a fishing station for nearly 200 years, and is the oldest in the parish. At what time the other side became a fishing station, cannot be ascertained with any degree of certainty. During the year 1723, a fishing boat and crew, belonging to the Duke of Gordon, removed from Gollachie, which is situated about a mile westward of Buckie, as being a safer and more commodious situation. About that period, the proprietor of Nether Buckie, who held his lands in feu from the Duke, had only one boat; and as he was out of the kingdom, and considerably in arrears of his feus to the Duke, the desired accommodation was the more readily obtained. At present, there are 117 large boats, and 28 small, employed in the various fisheries.

Porteasy This village is situated nearly two miles east from Buckie. In the year 1727, it was known as a fishing station, and contained five houses, which were built by Hay of Rannes, at that time the proprietor, for the accommodation of the original fishermen, who carne from Findhorn, in Morayshire, to settle there. The writer of the last Statistical Report says, "that he obtained this information from a man aged ninety, who was a native of this parish, and helped to man the first boat." This village contains a population of 420. They have 27 large boats, and 12 small ones.

Findochtie lies two miles from Porteasy, and contains a population of 414. A colony of fishermen settled here from Fraserburgh in 1716. They possess amongst them 24 large boats, and 15 small.

Portnockie the property of the Earl of Seafield, contains a population of 800, and attached, quoad sacra, to Cullen, is two miles to the eastward of Findochtie. "The following anecdote," says the late Rev. Mr Donaldson, " ascertains its origin as a fishing station. About twenty years ago, died Kattie Slater, aged ninety six. Like many old people, she was unable to tell her age precisely ; but she recollected that she was as old as the House of Farskane, as her father had often told her that he built the first house in Portnockie, the same year in which the house of Farskane was built; and that she was brought from Cullen to it, and rocked in a fisher's scull, instead of a cradle." Now, from the date on the house of Farskane, it appears to have been built in 1677. Thus the origin of this village is fixed with sufficient accuracy, It contains 800 inhabitants, and has 70 large boats, and 27 small.

Portgordon This village, of which the Duke of Richmond is now proprietor, was named from the late Noble Dukes of Gordon. It contains a population of 470, and is attached, quoad sacra, to the Chapel of Ease at Enzie. There is a tolerably good harhour, and, as has been stated, considerable business is done in exporting grain, and in importing salt and coals. There are 7 large boats, and 10 small.

Herring Fishery About Christmas, the fishermen engage with the curers in the herring fshing, at the various curing stations on the coast of Caithness, at Fraserburgh, Peterhead, and Aberdeen. They receive from the fish curer a bounty on each boat from £8 to £10, and 10s. 6d. for every cran which will contain from 600 to 700 dozen, with four pints of whisky weekly. Each boat requires four men, and sometimes a boy. In a successful season a boat may take in one night upwards of 40 crans ; from 150 to 180 is reckoned an excellent fishing for the season. The number of boats in this parish is 245; and, taking the average of each boat at 100 crans at 10s. 6d., the amount will be £18,375.

Means of Communication The roads, upon the whole, in all directions, are good, and kept in an excellent state of repair. The post road runs through the parish from east to west for ten miles. A coach from Elgin to Banff passes and repasses daily along this road, affording an easy and expeditions conveyance to various parts of tile county. The condition of the bridges and fences is good.

Harbours There are two harbours, one at Buckie and the other at Portgordon. Ships of considerable burden enter the harbour at Portgordon, where, as has been stated, considerable business is done in importing and exporting salt, coals, and grain. The one at Buckie is used chiefly as a landing place for the fishermen, and a protection for their boats. In summer, coals and salt may be landed with safety.

According to the New Statistical Account of Scotland

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[Last updated: 15 Dec 2002 - Gavin Bell]

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