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La.II. 585.12


My dear Sir George,—I received two or three days since your interesting vindication of your opinion respecting the vitrified forts against Dr Macculloch. I have not seen as yet the Doctors letters so that I am not very competent to judge nor perhaps should I be so were I to investigate the matter as deeply as I could having no science to aid me.

But I think our friend & associate cuts too short in disposing so very absolutely both of Lord Woodhouselees opinion and of yours for I think your pamphlet shows a strong probability that some of these structures at least had been used as beacon stations. I cannot however think that all of these were so because the only one which I ever examined particularly with spade & shovel was in a low situation on the verge of a moss near Fettercairn a place totally unfit for a signal light. Tradition terms this the Castle of Fenella where Kenneth was murderd by that Lady & adds that [her?*] castle was burnd in revenge of the Kings death by the royal followers. If this could be trusted it would go far to shew that in one instance at least Woodhouselees explanation had been just and that the vitrified [appearance arises from accidental combustion.]

The Letters of Sir Walter Scott, ed. H.J.C. Grierson, vol. I (London: Constable, 1932), p. 49n.

* Grierson reads "his".