It happened 170 years ago on the Black Isle, but it was a big enough event at the time to make the first ever edition of the News of the World. On October 1 1843, it covered the Resolis Riot.
The parish of Resolis lies on the northern part of the rich farming lands across the Cromarty Firth from Invergordon. Like virtually every other community in Scotland, it was convulsed by the events of that year.
It was the time of the Disruption when almost 40% of the Church of Scotland seceded to form the Free Kirk over the issue of patronage. This was the question of who should appoint a minister - the congregation or the patrons, who normally were the landlords.
The patrons' rights had been re-established by statute in 1712 but the 1834 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland had passed a Veto Act which allowed congregations the right to reject the landlords' man.
The Court of Session declared this unlawful as did the House of Lords, and Viscount Melbourne's Whigs further enraged those for congregational power - the Evangelicals - by refusing Government money to build new Churches of Scotland.
At the 1843 General Assembly, Thomas Chalmers led the Free Kirkers ''out''. In Resolis almost the whole congregation along with its minister, the Rev Donald Sage, had also come out.
The people of Resolis were angered by the established church's appointment of a Rev John McKenzie who was to ''get a cure of souls with hardly a soul to cure''. They also had been refused a site for a new church by all the landlords in the parish. Mr McKenzie was due to be inducted to his new charge on Thursday September 28.
Words of possible disturbance had reached the ears of the authorities and on the Wednesday a circular letter was sent by Col Baillie, Lord Lieutenant of Ross, to local justices of the peace asking for their attendance.
He also requested the coastguard, based in Cromarty, to patrol the ferries at Foulis, Alness and Invergordon to prevent sympathisers from the strong Free Kirk across the Cromarty Firth joining the people of Resolis.
The first act of the Resolis Riot was a few minutes after 11am. A small group of men and boys put a ladder up against the gable end of the Kirk, took out the bell rope and began to ring it.
Very quickly a crowd gathered. The women present gathered a pile of stones while the men picked up sticks in preparation for the arrival of the Establishment.
At about 11.30am, the patron and leading landlord of the parish - Andrew Shaw McKenzie of Newhall - arrived. He was accompanied by the Provost of Fortrose and the sheriff's officer from Avoch. From Cromarty had travelled the full majesty of the law: the sheriff clerk; the assistant sheriff substitute; the procurator fiscal; and, for goood measure, three justices of the peace.
The sheriff clerk, John Taylor, advised the crowd to go home, only to be counselled by one Eppy Aird, whose apron was filled with stones: ''If you try and put in that minister we'll find a use for these.''
The Free Kirkers moved forward and their social betters moved back towards the manse under a hail of stones.
Reinforcements arrived for both sides of the patronage debate: on the road above the church a two-horse carriage, a phaeton, appeared and on reaching the church it halted. Out of it emerged Sheriff Jardine of Dingwall and his sheriff clerk. A cry went up from the crowd of what was then considered abuse ''Moderates! Moderates!'' followed by more stones.
Charge, counter-charge and then a short-lived truce ensued. But one of the crowd, a women of around 30, Margaret Cameron, got too close in her attempt to stone the forces of law and order and was seized. The coastguard arrived and the Riot Act was read at 2.50pm.
Shots were fired by the coastguard which were answered by more stones and the continued chant ''Moderates, Moderates''.
The crowd advanced and the Establishment retreated, agreeing that Mr McKenzie's induction be postponed. Margaret Cameron was then conveyed by gig to Cromarty's jail.
During the next day, Friday September 29, speculation grew in Cromarty that the people of Resolis were not of a mood to allow Margaret Cameron to languish long under lock and key. At 4pm that day she was taken from her cell to Cromarty's courtroom to be judicially examined.
Although happier in Gaelic than English, she admitted to being present at Resolis but denied threatening Mr McKenzie with a stone. She was returned to her cell but shortly afterwards the Resolis folk arrived.
The Resolis crowd was joined by the local people. Among those who had appeared was a group of Cromarty fishermen celebrating the marriage of one James Watson and his uncle, Robert Hogg, known as ''Property''.
Emboldened by the day's festivities, Property pushed forward and shouted: ''We must have her out!'' The groom also entered into the spirit of things and decreed to the gathering: ''Bring her out and you'll get a dance at my wedding!''
That was inducement enough. A few large stones were found to break down the outer door of the courthouse/jail and once in the courtroom the crowd found a large form which they used to break down two further doors. Margaret Cameron was free.
The people from Resolis marched homewards, breaking the journey at the Jemimaville Inn.
In Cromarty, the Watson nuptials had resumed with the added vigour that only a successful jailbreak can bring. The authorities meanwhile noted names.
On the Saturday morning, the forces of moderation reacted. Special constables were sworn in and the search for the rioters began. The authorities were sufficiently alarmed that a regiment of Irish Fusiliers, presumably neutral on the issue of patronage, was sent north to Fort George should the situation deteriorate.
Many of those hunted evaded capture until early November, but when apprehended were imprisoned in Dingwall pending further investigations.
In January 1844, 11 men and one woman were charged at the High Court in Edinburgh. Prison breaking was regarded as the more serious offence and one man was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment only after a recommendation of leniency by the Edinburgh jury.
Many were imprisoned in Cromarty but not brought to trial, including the groom, James Watson. Others were held in Dingwall but again not brought to trial or received a maximum of six months.
Three men and one women - Eppy Aird - failed to appear and were outlawed, which meant them seeking new lives where their names would not have been linked with the Resolis Riot.
Little was heard of the Rev John McKenzie again
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