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History of Caithness
J. T. Calder
Appendix No 3

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These inventories are in the possession of the Clerk of Supply of Orkney.

1. John GROT, son to HUGE GROT, 1496.—Charter from William De St Ciaro, Earl of Caithness, to John Groat, son to Hugh Groat, of one penny land in Duncansby, paying therefor yearly tres niodios Brasii at Mamtinmas.  Dated at Girnigoe Castle, 14th March, 1496.

2. WILLIAM GROAT, younger, 1507. — Charter from William Oliphant amid Cimtistiun Sutherland, hms spouse, to William Groat, younger, of his halfpenny laud iii Duncansby, for time payment of five shillings Scots at two terms. Dated time l2thm May, 1507.

3. JOHN GROAT, 1515.—Precept of Sasine by Jo. Sinclair, Earl of Caithness, for infefting John Groat in ane penny land in Dungsby. Dated at Nose, 5th Oct., 1515.

4. JOHN GROAT, 1515.—Sasine in favors of John Groat of ane penny land amid miln in Duncanabay, proceeding on a precept of Sasine from John, Earl of Caithness, to him thereanent. Sasine dated 12th Oct., 1515.

5. WILLIAM GROAT, 1515. — Sasine to William Groat in a farthing land in Dungsby, proceeding on a precept from John, Earl Caithness. Sasine dated l2th Oct., 1515.

6. WALTER GROT, son of WILLiAM GROT, 1521.—Precept of Sasine, John, Eari Caithness, for infefting Mr Walter Groat, son and air of umqubile William Grot, in a farthing land in Dungsby. Dated 28th Sept., 1521.

6—2. WiLLIAM GROT son to JOHN GROT, 1521.—Precept of Sasine by Andrew Oliphant of Bemrydale, and Superior of time fourth part of Caithness, to William Groat, son to John Grot on the land in Duncansbay called time penny land, dated at Auldwick, 22d Nov., 1521. The Precept proceeds on a Charter formerly granted.

7. JOHN GROAT, 1523.—Precept of Sasine, Jo. Sinclair, Earl Caithness, for infefting Jo. Groat in one penny land in Dungsby conform to a Charter- granted yr anent. The precept is dated at Girnigoe, 22nd Oct., 1523.

8. Donald GROAT, 1536.—Sasine in favor of Donald Groat on the lands of Skirsary, upon a precept of sasine granted to him by Pat. Mowat of and Freswick, relative to a disposition granted by him to the said Donald mentd in the said precept. The Sasine is dated 16th July, 1536.

9. JOHN GROAT, eldest son of WILLIAM GROAT, 1540.—.Precept of Clare Constat, George, Earl Caithness, in favours of Jo. Groat, eldest son and heir to William Groat, for infefting him in a farthing land in Duncansbay, dated at Mey. 8th March, 1540, before witnesses. These honest men, John Sinclair of Dun, Walter Mowat of Rattar, Malcolm Groat of Warse, and another honest man, Mr Jo. Dunnet, Rector of Canasbay, and seul oyrs.

10. HUGH GROAT, 1540.— Charter dated 11th March, 1540, granted by Hugh Groat, portioner of Duucansbay, with consent of Mariot Bane, his spouse liferentrix thereof, in favours of William Bane, in Papingo of a fourth part of his two-penny land, called in the Charter unam obolatam, in Duncansbay, with his whole part of the field called Stamster, for the payment of a penny blench.

—-Instrument of Resignation by Mr Gilbert Grot, son and apparent heir of William Grot, in favours of Hugh Grot his brother, of two-penny hand in Dungsby, in the hands of Laurence, Lord Oliphant, as Superior thereof, dated 24th May, 1543.

12. DONALD GROAT and his son JOHN GROAT, 1547.—Disposition on parcht, Be Dod Groat in Duncansbay, in favour of his son John Groat, of his half-penny land in Skirsary, for the payt of 65 mks, contained, in the Reversion of the said lands to Pat. Mowat of Bagirholiy, Superior thereof, and of his two-penny land in Cannasbay, for the payment of a 100 mks to the Earl of Caithness, Superior, as contained in the Reversion thereof. Dated at Dunnet, 5th August, 1547.

13. JOHN GROAT, son of FINLAY GROAT, 1549.—Precept of Clare Constat from Geo., Earl Caithness, to John Groat, son to Finlay Groat, for infefting him in the ferry-house and ferry, and 20 feet round about the said house. Dated at Wick,  Nov., 1549.

14. WILLIAM GROAT, l557.—Precept of Sasine, Laurence, Lord Oliphant, for infefting William Groat in ane Octo hand in Dungsby, as contained in a Charter granted to him thereanent. The precept is dated 7th June, 1557.

15. HUGH GROAT, 1557.—Charter, the Master of Oliphant to Hugh Groat and the heirs procreat betwixt him and Catherine Ratter, his spouse, on the land in Duncansbay called the penny land, and another penny land there, making two penny land, for the yeariy payt. for the land called the penny land Ten Sh. Scots, and for the other penny land a penny blench. Dated at Auldwick, the 11th June, 1557.

16. Precept of Sasine on said Charter, dated 11th June, 1557.

17. Sasine on Charter and Precept of Sasine, No. 15 and 16, dated l6thm June, 1557, under the subscription of Jo. Stevenson, N.P.

18. JOHN GROAT, 1557. ——Precept of Sasiae front Laurence, Master of Oliphant, for infefting John Groat in ane halfpenny land, called unam obolatam, in Dungsby, as contained in a Charter granted there. anent. The precept is dated at Auldwick, 12th June, 1557.

19. WILLIAM GROAT, son of FINLAY GROAT, 1557.— Charter from the Master of Oliphant, dated at Auldwick, 12th June, 1557, in favors of William Groat, son to Finlay Groat, upon ane Octoe of land of Duncansbay, for the yearly payment of 15 pennys Scots at two terms in the year.

20. JOHN and FINLAY GROAT, 1576.—Charter, John Groat, portioner of Dungsbv, to Finlay Groat on a farthing land at 1)ungsby, and the heirs male of his body, which failing, to the said John and the heirs male of his bony, paying therefor yearly three pecks with two cops and half a cop bear, dated at Dungsby, 15th Nov., 1576.

20. Sasine thereon, dated 16th Nov., 1576.1

21. HUTCHEON GROAT, 1572.—--Letter of Reversion from Malcolm Groat of Tankerness to Huteheon Grot Of Dungsby, for redemption of ane halfpenny land in Dungsby, and his haill part of the field called Stemster, disponed by the said Hutcheon to the said Malcolm, by payt. of 40 Sh. Scots in the Kirk of Cannashay, or in his house of heritage in Dungsby, upon any day ‘twixt the sun-rising and down-passing of the samen, dated at Dungsby, 30th August, 1572.

22. HUGH GROAT and JOHN GROAT, his son, 1589.—charter of Resignation—--Laurence, Lord Ohiphant, to Hugh Groat in Duncansbay, and Marion Mowat, his spouse, and longest liver in liferent, and John Groat, younger, eldest son, and the heirs male of his body, which failing, to his nearest and lawful heirs male and assignees, qt’soever of his land in Duncansbay called the Pennyland, and also of one penny land more in said town extending to two penny land, which formerly belonged to the said Hugh Groat holden of the said Lord Oliphant, paying yearly for the penny land 10 Sh. Scots, and for the oy’r penny land a penny blench with Seat and S   to the Cathedral Church of Kirkwall as use is. Dated at Auidwick, 29th January, 1589.

23. JOHN GROAT, grandson of JOHN GROAT, 1590. —Sasine in favour of John Groat in Dungsby. oye and heir to John Groat, elder there, proceeding on a precept of Clare Constat from Laurence Lord Oliphant for infefting him in a halfpenny land, called unam obolatam ferrarum de Dungsby, which belonged to the said ,Jo. Groat, elder, his grand­father—dated 16th November, 1589. The Sasine dated 6th June, 1590.

24. HUTCHEON GROAT, 1593. — Letter of Reversion from William Groat of Tankerness (in Orkney) to liutcheon Groat of Duncansby, for redemption of ane halfpenny land in Ducansbay, and a part of a tile field called Stemster disposed by the said Hutcheon Gioat to the said William for payment of £24 Scots at any time in the Kirk of Cannasbay, and upon any day ‘twixt the sun-rising and down-passing thereof. Dated 30th August, 1593.

25. HUGH GROAT, 1595.—Charter from Hugh Groat, feuar of 2d land in Duncansbay, and John Groat, his eldest son, with consent of Marion Bane, his spouse, to George Sinclair of Mey, and James Sinclair, his second son, and the heirs male of his body, which failing, to John Sinclair, his third son, and the heirs male of his body, whilks failing, to the said George Sinclair, his heirs and assignees whatsome’r, of three farthing land of their lands in Duncansbay, paying therefor yearly to the Lord Oliphant, superior, of 10 Sh. Scots if asked allenarly.  Dated 26th September, 1595. N.B.—-A nott: signs for them with three subscribing witnesses.

26. JHHN GROAT, son of umql. HUTCHEON GROAT, and ADAM GROAT, brother of JOHN, 1603. —--Charter in English, Jo. Groat, lawful son and heir of umquhil Hutcheon Groat, portioner of Duncansbv, to Adam Groat, his brother-german, his heirs and assignees qt’soer bearing and retaining the surname of Grot and nane other, all and haill these his proper two penny land in Duncansbay, holden of the Lord Ohiphant, and paying therefor yearly to the said Jo. Groat and his heirs of ane penny blench and 10 Sh. and one penny Scots to the superior, at the usual terms redeemable for the pay’t of the sum of.   Dated at Kirkwall, 18th Nov., 1603.

27. ADAM GROT and JOHN GROT, brothers, 1606.—” Sasine wrot on paper” in favours of Adam Grot proceeding on a Charter, granted to him by John Grot, his eldest brother, portioner of Dungsby, of his two penny land in Dungsby, then in the possession of the said Adam and Donald Grot of Warse. The Sasine is dated the 11th August, 1606. Reg’rat in the Books of the Sheriffdom of Inverness and Cromarty, at the Chanonry of Ross, upon the 21st of said month of August.

28. DONALD GROAT to JOHN GROAT, son of umql. FINLAY GROAT, 1607.-Charter , Donald Groat of Warse, and portioner of Dungshy, to John Groat, lawful son and apparent heir of umquhil Finlay Groat, portioner of Dungsby, and the heirs male of his body, which failing, to return to the said Donald Groat and his heirs male on his farthing land in Dungsby, formerly disponed by John Groat, his father, to the said Finlay Groat, and was at the date of the Charter possessed by John Groat, Finlay’s son, paying therefor yearly three pecks, two cops, and half a cop of bear at Marts. yearly, in name of feu farm. Dated 2d Jan., 1607.

29. JOHN and ADAM GROAT, brothers, 1612.—Ane Instrument taken by Jo. Groat, agt. Adam, his brother, upon Adam’s surrendering one of the two penny lands to hint, in consequence of the reversion mentioned in the Charter No. 26. Dated the sald instrument, 21st Feb., 1612.

30. MALCOLM GROAT of Warse, 1617.— Liferent Sasine in favours of Marion Doul, spouse of Malcolm Groat of Warse, on the one penny land of Warse and Smiddies, and one penny land in Duncansbay. Dated the day of July, 1617.

31. JOHN GROAT, son of FINLAY GROAT, 1626. —Sasine in favours of J0. Groat, son to Finlay Groat in Duncansbay, proceeding on a precept of Clare Constat granted by ,Jo., Bishop of Caithness, for infefting the said John in the tenement in Wick, ex boreale parte ejusd. Sasine dated 27th day of 1626, and reg’rat.

32. MALCOLM GROAT, 1656. —Sasine, Malcolm Groat, the late ferryman’s father, upon his land in Duncansbay. Dated 20 and 26 days of Jan., 1656.

NOTE. —JOHN GROAT. —The ferryman referred to here was probably John Groat, described as “the Ferryrnan” in a document belonging to about the same date as the Inventory in which No. 32 is entered.

32a. MALCOLM GROAT and DONALD GROAT, his son, 1642.—Inhibition. —Malcolm Groat, and Marion Doul, and Donald Groat, his son, agt. Sir William Sinclair and Sir James, his son, for not implementing the Contract upon the lands of Wares, 1642. -

33. JOHN GROAT FINLAYSON.—-Inhibition.—Jo. Groat Finlay’s son, being the late ferryman’s grandfather, agt. Sir James Sinclair of Cannasbay, and Sir William Sinclair of Cadboll, his father, proceeding upon and contract of sale of, Jo. Harper’s D. land in Duncasnsby, by them in favours of him. No date.

NOTE. —‘l’hie John Groat above mentioned is the same referred to in No. 28 as Finlay’s son.

MALCOLM GROAT of Wares, mentioned in No. 32a, had a son Donald, who appears to have been succeeded by Malcolm Groat, whose son, George Groat., on  I6th March, 1715, disponed all his hands in Duncansby, and in the Parish of Latheron, together withs the ferry-house, ferry, and ferry-boats of Duncansby,  and lands pertaining thereto, to Malcolm Groat, his son, and his heirs male; whom failing, to other parties of the name of Groat, mentioned in the Deed, and their heirs male respectively.  The Disposition does not appear to have been recorded.

Malcolm Groat, last mentioned, because embarrassed, and on 1st August, 1741, a fitted account, showing an arrear of £8352 17s. 8d. Scots, of teinds and other duties due by him, was subscribed by him and by Mr William Sinclair2  of Freswick,’ and an obligation was annexed thereto. binding Mr Sinclair to accept of £4000 Scots in full payment of said arrear, for which a Bond granted of the date of the account by Malcolm Groat to Freswick. The original Disposition and the fitted account, both on stamped paper, are in my possession.

GE0. PETRIE, Clerk of Supply.

KIRKWALL, 9th October, 1860.

1. There is in the possessian of G. Petrie a discharge by Malcolm Groat of Tankerness to his guid friend Jon Grot of Dongsby of all maills and duties of ane penny land, with the pertinents and the mill of Dongisby, which the said John had in tack, and assidation of the said Malcolm.  Dated at Dungasby, 11th Mch., 1570.
This Mr Sinclair of Freswick was the second son of John Sinclair, fith laird of Ratter.  It was he whom the band of Caithness thieves had plotted to rob and murder.  His memory is still fresh among the inhabitants of the district in which he resided.  He would appear to have possessed great astuteness and force of character, and he was altogether a person of much local celebrity in his day.

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