Troubling of the Waters
was succeeded by Thomas Fleming. It was during Fleming’s
ministry that the “remarkable agitation” of the
waters of Loch Tay took place. On the morning of 12th September,
1784, the water at Kenmore receded some
fifty yards from the bank. There was no wind, no earthquake
and the water retreated quite tranquilly. This ebb and flow
took place repeatedly over a period of several days after which
the water gradually returned to its former place.
was the local blacksmith, by the name of Maclntyre, who was
the first eye-witness. He had come down to the loch-side to
wash his face and hands and was more than a little perturbed
to find the water receding while he attended to his ablutions.
Naturally he ran to tell his neighbours who all came to watch
Unfortunately the minister was not at home, being in Amulree
taking the Service. When he returned, however, he found everyone
talking of the strange happening and he was able to write a
full account for the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
was three years after this phenomenon that Robert Burns visited
the district and was greatly struck by the beauty of the surroundings.
Staying in Kenmore Hotel, he wrote a poem in praise of the natural
The Tay meandering sweet in infant pride This poem is in its
original script above the mantel of the fireplace in the
Poet’s Parlour in the Hotel.
1791, the Society for the propagation of Christian knowledge,
with the help of funds from Lady Glenorchy’s Bequest,
established a mission station with a minister to serve Lawers
and Ardeonaig. Cohn McVean was appointed, but, when Kenmore
became vacant, he was inducted to the charge there. With his
induction in 1793, there began a unique succession of long ministries.
From then until the four hundredth anniversary of the Church
at Kenmore in 1979 there have been but five ministers in the
Parish Church. At the beginning of McVean’s ministry there
were 40 persons on the Poor Roll of the Parish. They were maintained
by collections amounting to £32, a sum which was augmented
by philanthropic gifts from
the Breadalbane family, including the sale of balls of wool
for “widows and orphans”. It was during Mr. McVean’s
ministry that the new Castle of Taymouth was built. However,
changes in the economic life of the Parish were
becoming inevitable, and a further prophecy of the Lady of Lawers
now began to be fulfilled.
To Kenmore Church History