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Glenbuchat Heritage

12 Glenbuchat Schooldays c1890
The Glenbuchat Image Library
12 Glenbuchat Schooldays c1890

Jessie Henderson Schooling

The above delightful story about Schooling in Glenbucket about 1890 is written by Jessie Ritchie nee Henderson possibly in the 1930s for a WRI meeting. The quality of the writing both in content and style says a lot about the quality of teaching to a girl who left school at 14. I am grateful to Fiona Haggart for supplying the copy of the essay.

Click for Henderson Family Introduction

Jessie was brought up at Belnaboth a clachan of Glenbuchat . In 1886 when the Hendersons moved into Cairnpadring Cottage , Jessie stayed in Glenbuchat with her Grandmother Janet Murdoch nee McDonald before finishing school then going into service with the Rev. Sparks family . At this time she completed the sampler as mentioned in the text. (Family tree at end of article)

The story highlights some typical events of schooling in Glenbuchat about 1890. Schooling in the Glen had undergone significant changes just before that time. Initially from 1496 there was a responsibility on the parish to provide education until 1546 when it was taken over by the established church. In 1870 the state took it over under a Board of Education. Sometime in the 1820s the Parish Schoolhouse on Belnacraig was burnt down, and at a date unknown, a new Schoolhouse was built further up the hill, where the present Old Schoolhouse stands opposite Whitehillock. Following the Disruption in the Church of Scotland in 1843 the Church split into the Established Church and The Free Church of Scotland. This also split the education system and Glenbucket had three Schools. These were the Parish School, A small Free Church school at Bowiebank Belnacraig possibly a girl’s school, and another Free Church School at Dulax. In 1868 the new Glenbuchat Parish School built (previously the pupils had been taught in the Schoolhouse). The school was closed in 1960 and is now a private house (Whitehillock) as is The Old Schoolhouse.

The story tells of the children meeting at Belnaboth which is on the other side of the valley from the School, loitering on the old rickety bridge over the River Buchat, going down past the hall and then going up the ‘Crag’ the name for the Belnacraig hill and then on to the school. The picture of Craigton shows the Hall on the left, the Crag path in the middle and the small white building on the right half way up the picture is the Schoolhouse.

There is a wonderful description of the kindly Schoolmaster who gave them ‘kindly deeds and words of cheer’ rather than punishment. She also describes a wonderful dapper man wearing a Victorian ‘black velvet smoking cap, adorned all round with flowers in multi-coloured silk and a finished with a huge tassel’, as the example shown in the photo above.

I have managed to trace the kindly School master and his name was James Cameron.
His death notice was noted in the Aberdeen Journal of March 1915:
‘Mr. James Cameron (M.A., 1864) died at his residence, Rosebank, Crathes, Kincardineshire, on 19 March 1915, aged eighty-four. He was schoolmaster at Glenbuchat, Aberdeenshire, from 1866 till 1897 — thirty-one years.’ He was unmarried and lived with his sister Margaret who was 15 years younger than himself.

He is noted in the census returns for Glenbuchat from 1871 to 1891.
The 1891 census states:
Name: James Cameron
Age: 58 Estimated birth year: abt 1833
Relationship: Head
Gender: Male
Where born: Kirkmichael, Banffshire
Registration district: Glenbucket
Civil Parish: Glenbucket
County: Aberdeenshire
Address: School House
Occupation: Public House Teacher
Household Members:
Name Age
James Cameron58
Margaret Cameron43
James Forbes41
Alexander Forbes37

Name: Margaret Cameron
Age: 43 Estimated birth year: abt 1848
Relationship: Sister
Gender: Female
Where born: Glenmuick, Aberdeenshire
Registration Number: 200
Registration district: Glenbucket
Civil Parish: Glenbucket
County: Aberdeenshire
Address: School House
Occupation: Teacher's Sister & Houskeeper

Name: James Forbes
Age: 41 Estimated birth year: abt 1850
Relationship: Brother
Gender: Male
Where born: Glenbucket, Aberdeenshire
Registration Number: 200
Registration district: Glenbucket
Civil Parish: Glenbucket
County: Aberdeenshire
Address: Belnacraig
Occupation: Farm Serv

Name: Alexander Forbes
Age: 37 Estimated birth year: abt 1854
Relationship: Brother
Gender: Male
Where born: Glenbucket, Aberdeenshire
Registration Number: 200
Registration district: Glenbucket
Civil Parish: Glenbucket
County: Aberdeenshire
Address: Belnacraig
Occupation: Farm Serv

Jessie Henderson’s Family Tree

William Murdoch 1804
Birth 26 Nov 1804 Glenbucket
Died 13 Jul 1881 Glenbucket
Father William Murdoch, b. 1763, Unknown
Mother Jean Milne, b. 1764, Glenbucket
Family 1
Mary Leslie
Not married
Children
John Murdoch, b. 25 Jul 1840, Glenbucket
Family 2
Janet McDonald, b. 1822, Unknown
Married 12 Dec 1854 Glenbucket
Children
Jean Murdoch, b. 23 May 1855, Glenbucket
William Murdoch, b. 08 Jul 1857, Glenbucket
John Murdoch, b. 22 Aug 1859, Glenbucket
James Murdoch, b. 14 Aug 1862, Glenbucket
Histories census
1841 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket with mother (widow), niece Anne Farquharson and son John
1851 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket with mother (widow) and niece Anne Farquharson
1861 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket (farmer) with wife and children Jean, William and John
1871 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket (farmer) with wife, brother-in-law William McDonald, stepdaughter Anne, stepson-in-law John Young and children Jean, William, John and James
1881 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket (farmer) with wife, children Jean, John and James and granddaughter Jessie Henderson
MI @ Towie kirkyard - stone number 19

Jean Murdoch 1855 -
Birth 23 May 1855 Glenbucket
Father William Murdoch, b. 26 Nov 1804, Glenbucket
Mother Janet McDonald, b. 1822, Unknown
Family
John Henderson
Married not married
Children
Jessie Henderson, b. 11 Apr 1879, Glenbucket
Histories census
1861 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket with parents and brothers William and John
1871 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket with parents, uncle William McDonald, half-sister Anne, brother-in-law and brothers William John and James
1881 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket with parents, brothers John and James and daughter Jessie

Jessie Henderson 1879 -
Birth 11 Apr 1879 Glenbucket
Father John Henderson
Mother Jean Murdoch, b. 23 May 1855, Glenbucket
Histories census
1881 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket with mother, grandparents and uncles John and James Murdoch
1891 enumerated @ Belnaboth, Glenbucket with grandmother (widow)






Picture added on 15 December 2015 at 11:17
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