been made to neutralise the risk. The plan which is most usually adopted for the protection of instruments and operators in such circumstances consists in the ingenious expedient of arranging two broad metal plates so that their contiguous surfaces be face to face a very small distance apart, one of the plates being in immediate connexion with the telegraph wire, whilst the other is in communication with the ground. The narrow interval between the two plates is then sufficient to prevent any escape of the ordinary electrical current of low intensity which is employed in telegraph work, but upon the occasion of the wire becoming accidentally charged with an electrical force of high intensity, such as is produced by the agency of the thunder-cloud, this leaps through the narrow space by virtue of its superior explosive power, and so escapes harmlessly to the earth, instead of making its way through some more devious and dangerous route. The plates are, of course, designedly fixed where they serve to intercept the discharge by the temptation of the more open and free passage to the earth, and in that way divert it from the dangerous course which it would otherwise pursue.

The best course for the electrical engineer, who is planning the protection of any building against lightning, is therefore, on account of the various considerations which have been urged, to begin with the arrangement of that which is the primary essential, the earth contact. In towns where there is a large system of water supply and gas distribution at hand, this is generally an easy task. But it by no means follows that, where the main pipes of water and gas supplies are not available, a square yard of sheet copper or iron, buried in the ground, can in all cases be accepted as a satisfactory earth connexion. It certainly would not have been so in the instance of All Saints Church. In the circumstances which have been described in speaking of the accident there, a yardsquare earth plate could not have been depended upon to prevent the mischief. The lightning would still have preferred the largely developed root of the gas-mains to any such puny substitute, although such an earth plate, well bedded in moist ground, might have served all purposes in the absence of so formidable a competitor. The condition of safety is that which has been so well stated by Professor Rousseau. The communication of the conductor with the earth must not be inferior to that of any neighbouring mass of metal. When the arrangement for the earth connexion has been efficiently settled, the conductor may be carried up from it, and this may with equal assurance be done either upon the single rod system of

Gay-Lussac or upon the multiple rod principle of Professor Melsens, so long as the building is of moderate size and of a compact form. But if the building is of large dimensions and of irregular form, the single conductor will of necessity have to assume an approximation to the multiple type as the main stem is branched out above to bring every gable and turret and pinnacle of the structure under its protection. It is only when it has been completed by a broadly cast net of metallic meshes and lines, that the old early dogma of the protected area can be now allowed to survive even in the mind of the engineer. When the work of construction has been so far carried out, it is still, however, not to be looked upon as complete until the stamp of efficiency has been placed upon it by the application of the final test, which the advance of electrical science has now placed in the hands of the constructor. It is the crowning distinction of this system of defence, that by a very easy process it can be at once ascertained whether all the arrangements of the engineer have been properly carried out. By the employment of the ingenious piece of apparatus which is known as the Differential Galvanometer,' the electrician can in a few minutes ascertain what the resistance is that would be offered between the air-terminal and the earth communication of a conductor, if a discharge of lightning fell upon the rod. That resistance must never be left unheeded if it amounts to anything in excess of the quantity which is technically known as two ohms. It is quite possible indeed, by the exercise of judgement and skill, to reduce the resistance in every case somewhat below that. With a conductor which has recently been erected upon the Hall of General Assembly in Edinburgh, it was found at the final test that the earth resistance was only the 07th of an ohm. But the galvanometer test must not only be applied as the last step of the construction; it must also be drawn upon from time to time, and at not too distant intervals, to ascertain how far the originally wellconceived and well-executed work is, or is not, in process of being injuriously affected by the physical agencies that are at all times in antagonistic operation to the constructive efforts of 111311 Tàe free and frequent use of the testing galvanometer is indosi, the natural consummation of the teneficent work which was initiated by Franklin one hundred and thirty years agu Without this instrument the ghtning conducter is a Repeal and very generally help expedient Bat with the amore, it is now surely eveipetent to take rank as à nevertaling protection

ART. III.-The Chiefs of Grant. By WILLIAM FRASER, LL.D. 3 vols. quarto. Edinburgh [Privately printed]: 1883.

"THE HE Chiefs of Grant' adds another to the long list of remarkable achievements in Scottish family history associated with the name of that accomplished genealogist and antiquarian whom the late Sir William Stirling Maxwell was wont to call 'the luminous and voluminous Fraser.' These histories are not all of equal value, and the one now under review is among the least important of the whole in a purely historical sense; yet it must be said for Mr. Fraser's qualities as an editor, that in all that series, now extending to sixteen or eighteen volumes, there is not one less notable than another for the fidelity with which its contents have been compiled, for the accuracy with which documents are reproduced, and for the unfailing skill and industry which he has brought to his task. Being private collections, these works of Mr. Fraser are not accessible to the general public; it is important, therefore, that those interested in historical research should have some indication given them of the field covered by these volumes, and of the nature and extent of the materials embraced within them. For this reason we have on several former occasions reviewed in this Journal the kindred works in which Mr. Fraser has recorded the historical and domestic annals of the great houses of Carlaveroch, of Lennox, of Buccleuch, and of Cromarty. They are, in fact, known to the public through no other channel, as none of these works have been published for sale. We therefore gladly resume so congenial a task. That which immediately concerns us at present is the magnificent monograph now before us, in which is recorded with patient labour all that is worth knowing of the great Highland house of Grant of Grant.

The chief ambition of a Scottish family is to be accounted old. Riches and greatness are very well and very desirable in themselves; but the crown of honour is family antiquity. Quaint old Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty was less pleased to be the first translator of Rabelais into English than to be able to tell that he was the hundred and forty-third in direct descent from Adam, and the hundred and thirty-fourth in line from Noah. This honourable ambition is by no means dead even yet. It is only a few years ago that a Highland family published a pedigree in solemn quarto, in which the family name was traced by immaculate descent from a

Scottish king who lived some three centuries before Christ; and the editor placed his book before the public without a smile on his face. The Grants, like all old families worth the name, have been honoured with a like remote and fabulous origin in their case the pedigree starts with no less a personage than Wodin or Odin, the Jupiter of Northern mythology-himself, however, under the iconoclastic hands of the editors of the Corpus Poeticum Boreale,' now somewhat shorn of his long antiquity. But Mr. Fraser is not fond of fables, and hence, in the spirit of enlightened modern research, he has wisely discarded all such mythical origins for the families whose fortunes he has undertaken to trace. He is content to follow them, for the main part, through the briefer but more intelligible period of existence indicated by the stream of authentic historical documents. Shutting his ears at once to the uncertain sound of Scandinavian myths, and the equally uncertain voices of those shameless prevaricators the Celtic senachies or bards, he listens only to the testimony of such indubitable records as have escaped the effacing finger of time and the still more destructive brand of war. In this respect he sets a wholesome example to the compilers of Northern genealogies, whose efforts of imagination, woven into the zigzag fabric of pedigrees, have not, of late years, been quite creditable to the accuracy and the intelligence of our Highland press.

Following rational guidance, therefore, Mr. Fraser finds that the first persons of the name of Grant who appear in any way as connected with the north of Scotland are Sir Laurence and Sir Robert le Grant, whose names occur among the witnesses to an authentic document of the year 1258. From the manner in which these names are written, he fairly enough infers that the name of Grant is of AngloNorman extraction. This inference is further supported by the fact that in a roll of the companions of William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066, cited by De Magny, there appears, along with Melville, Hay, and other well-known Scottish patronymics, the name of Robert Grante.' Again, in 1270, Henry III. gives permission to a number of Anglo-Norman knights to proceed to the Holy Land, and among these is one called William le Grant. He further adduces reasonable proof that the Grants of England, as had before been suggested by the historian of Beauly Priory, first found their way north into the Highlands of Scotland in the train of the powerful family of the Bissets, who were then extensive landowners both in England and Scotland, and with whom he


discovers the Grants were, in the first half of the thirteenth century, closely allied by marriage. The Bissets, or Bysets, are chiefly remembered for their alleged connexion with the mysterious death of the Earl of Athole at Haddington in 1242, and the older Scottish historians and genealogists generally represent them as having been almost extirpated, certainly expatriated, in consequence of that event. There is no reason to doubt that they fell under suspicion in connexion with Athole's death, and that their chiefs did leave Scotland for a time; but that exile must have been of short duration, as Mr. Fraser cites Walter Byset among the witnesses to a charter of Alexander III. to the monks of Dunfermline, dated at Stirling in the beginning of 1249.

Whether the above Laurence and Robert le Grant were brothers, or otherwise related to each other, has not been determined. Robert was the first to acquire territory in Moray. About 1258 he obtained from John Prat, miles or knight, a grant of the land of Clonmanache, now Coulmony, on the river Findhorn. Laurence was the more distinguished of the two, and became, some time before 1263, the king's sheriff of Inverness, which sheriffdom, at that time, comprehended the present counties of Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness. He was also bailie of Inverquoich. But while these two Grants are thus named together as contemporary proprietors or residents in Morayshire in the thirteenth century, it has been impossible to find any link connecting either of them genealogically with the alleged head of the Grants of Grant, namely, John le Grant, who, in 1316, received a grant of the lands of Inverallan in Strathspey. From this John, called First of Inverallan, Mr. Fraser endeavours to trace the descent of the family of Grant of Grant. In doing so, he exhibits a wealth of genealogical erudition, a breadth and minuteness of research, and an amount of painstaking labour which are little short of marvellous, and which cannot fail to excite the admiration of those who have any idea of the immense toil which such investigations involve. We wish we could add that in this case the result is worth the labour. It is impossible to look at the opening page of the genealogical table appended to the first volume without seeing that it is full of the most disappointing breaks, which not all the learned ingenuity of the author has been able to bridge over. We have carefully striven to follow his reasoning through the first five chapters of his history, but are unable, when done, to come to any decision as to the order



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