Places of Interest, Tomtayewan

By James Irvine Robertson

M

ost fermtouns grew organically but this was laid out in a neat little street because it was built to rehouse those displaced by agricultural improvements. When the duke at Blair and the marquis at Taymouth were clearing their tenants, the Stewarts of Grantully were building them model villages. In the 1860s, its inhabitants had become depraved save for one 'Virtuous Man'. His neighbours decided to do away with him and took him to the inn at Grandtully and plied him with drink until he became unconscious. He was then carried behind the establishment, a funnel was put into his mouth, and boiling water poured down his throat thus killing him without marking the body. He was buried in nearby Ward wood. His disappearance came to light when the population of the village emigrated to New Zealand and a roll was called. The absence of the Virtuous Man was accounted for by his killers saying that he had gone to Fife. They and the emigrants from nearby Sketchewan gave the same name and the same layout to the villages they built for themselves in New Zealand.