A new book that provides an insight into early 19th-century life in Moray is to be launched next month.
‘Aliment for my Child’ is the work of social historian Ian Gordon Brodie and looks at the early lives of the Brodie’s of Brodie Castle.
Mr Brodie’s great-grandfather was Alexander Brodie, the first born son of William, the 22nd Brodie of Brodie. He was born in 1832 in a mean and crowded little house at Roses Close in Fishertown.
Mr Brodie has been visiting Brodie Castle for some years accompanied by his wife Val, researching copious archives and uncovering previously unknown information on the family history.
He is set to make a presentation at the Castle on May 7. His talk – which is open to the public – will outline the process that led to the new book and will allow people to see for themselves some of the archives from which the story emerged.
He said: “All visitors taking a tour of Brodie Castle hear of the young, unmarried William’s schemes to extend the Castle in the Italian style when he inherited the title in 1824.
“They learn that as the pre-eminent landowner and gentleman hereabouts, he became Lord Lieutenant of Morayshire, but what visitors don’t learn was that in the meantime he was sowing his wild oats!
“The young Laird acknowledged his natural son, paid a meagre aliment to Jess and met the cost of young Alexander’s education in Forres. Later William made an acceptable marriage to Elizabeth Baillie, a rich heiress, and together they had four sons.
“But what happened to Alexander? This book unfolds his remarkable story. He too, married money and became a well-respected English clergyman, yet it was a dramatic life lived in the shadow of sordid publicity.
“Alexander’s innocent wife Sarah was the sister of the infamous Victorian criminal and poisoner, Dr William Palmer.”
‘Ailment for My Child’ is a must for all with a curiosity about local life in bygone times, and copies of the book will be available from Brodie Castle from May 7.