Money was not much used in the Highlands before the 18th Century and land was held from a Landlord for services e.g. following him in war when called upon, help with cultivation and special jobs on the estate such as carting peats, renewing millstones, harvest work and carrying goods to and from market; and specified produce such as cheese, eggs, hens, meal, plaids, salmon etc.
These were all gradually changed into money rents, particularly after 1745 when many Landlords had ceased to be permanent residents and military service due a superior was abolished by law, the whole system was represented by cash. Although rents in kind were still being received into the Rent House or Store House of Foulis early in the 19th Century.
In some cases land was held for special services; e.g. Doctor, Lawyer, Piper or Bard, Ferryman, Smith.
In the 14th and 15th Centuries the Munros of Foulis like many other landowners held their land from the Crown for nominal rents such as a silver penny or a pair of Parisian gloves. An 18th Century tradition concerning the family relates that the rent for Ben Wyvis was a bucket of snow or snowball payable to the Crown on mid summer day to cool the Monarch's wine should it be demanded. This no doubt alluded to the fact that the snow never melts in the northern conies of Ben Wyvis at that time part of Foulis Estate.
© 2010 The Clan Munro Association of Canada