People and Photos of Duthil Old  Church  and Carrbridge Church

The Men of Duthil

Even before the Disruption of 1843, Duthil and Carrbridge came into prominence owing to a religious revival which was started there by some men towards the end of the 18th century. It was these revivalists who were called the Men of Duthil. They had great faith and professed to have been brought to a sense of their errors by some miraculous means, and took upon themselves to expound the Scriptures to their friends. At the Disruption, the Men all came out and, for years after, were religious firebrands in the parish.Mainly tailors, blacksmiths and farm labourers, they wereof the deepest piety and immense scriptural knowledge, but of a rather introverted form. At times they were given to sitting in judgement on the ministers of the time even compelling them to resign. One spectator described them thus:

“All in all, all waited with years, not a few of them being octogenarians. They are possessed of strongly marked facial lines and peculiarities and give very forcible expression to their antipathies and convictions; also they invariably don the old fashioned tartan plaid.”

Their fanaticism was so unrelenting that they even call the Apostle of the North, Dr John MacDonald of Ferintosh, a blackbird of the devil.

A couple of other interesting characters associated with the church were:William Grant— Famous for his piety and uprightness, he was considered to have second sight. He was of course the instigator of the erection of the memorial commemorating the “ miracle” of the waters of the River Spey dividing so that the funeral cortege of Mary of Lurg could cross.

Donald Cattanach—Of him it was said “there is no person this side of the Pope of Rome as holy as Donald Cattanach”!


Rev James Bain …...….……….  Minister 1877 -1911

A Minister who by anyone’s standards created both great support  and great acrimony simultaneously.A Minister who fought  for those whom he considered downtrodden and dispossessed by the Seafields   but a man who  litigated the  Seafields. the local paper, his immediate neighbour, the Presbytery and many  others. To boot he was also clearly something of a pulpit thumper!

In Gaelic  did he romp and rair

In Gaelic banged the pulpit sair

With Gaelic fists he rent the air

Within the Kirk o’ Cromdale

(This when inducting a Minister in Cromdale in 1880)

His view of himself

“ My only offence is that I came to Duthil in opposition 6o the wishes of the powers that be.  I have all along refused to bow knee to them, and never hesitated to censure their faults and errors as I would those of the poor and needy”.

This he undoubtedly did but  emollient he was not – particularly in the case of the  “old “ Duthil Kirkyard where his attitudes/actions  incensed the community and caused it to be recorded”  That this meeting repudiates with indignation and contempt the scurrilous assertion written by Mr (or Mrs) Bain  ……”That the people of Strathspey are little removed from being slaves”.

Amazingly his wife felt obliged to write at one stage “We live here in what is called a Christian Country and yet for daring to be truthful, honest and upright we have to carry a loaded revolver day and night to protect ourselves from the fury of those who hate the truth”

From a letter to the Elgin Courant 11th May 1886