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Oxen Craig



Whilst on Oxen Craig look out for a square-cut hole - see story below, near the cairn.
from 'Bennachie' p41 Alexander Inkson McConnochie 1890
Oxen Craig has acquired quite a local history — and almost even a name, for sometimes it is spoken of as " Robbie Deson's Tap" — from a half-witted pauper, Robert Dawson, who was found dead on the Craig on 12th December, 1856, the sixteenth day after he had disappeared. Robbie lived with his mother at Goose- knowe, near'Ryehill, Oyne, and was last seen alive at Hillbrae. He had left Hillbrae on the 26th of the previous month, a snow-storm coming on rather un-expectedly after he had set out. Search parties were sent out after some delay, but no trace of poor Robbie could be found — indeed, it could hardly be expected that it would have been thought possible or probable that the body would be found on the highest point of Bennachie. Ultimately, the body was found by a young man of the district who was out " takin' a shot n at the white hares in the neighbourhood of Oxen Craig. Robbie had died while sitting on the Craig, so at first the " sportsman " took the dead body for some one watching his movements. The crows had picked out the right eye before the body was found, which was buried at night in Oyne Churchyard. The natives erected a commemorative stone, with an inscription, on the spot where the body was found, the stone being cut from the rock in the immediate vicinity. Robbie's mother, however, knocked it down and broke it into minute pieces, her idea being that she
should have participated in the funds that were raised for its erection. She also objected to the word "fatuous" on the stone referring to Robbie, saying " Fatuous ! Fat's that ? My sin wis jist as Guid made 'im." Ultimately the subscription became the subject of a lawsuit. To use rather an Irish bull — all that remains of the monument is the square-cut foundation for the stone in the solid rock, which may still be seen a few yards from the cairn. Poor Robbie was a great simpleton. On one occasion he saw a number
of egg-boxes standing on end at the local grocer's, " and having been told they were coffins, ever afterwards he would rather have waded the Gadie-than passed " the grocer's," especially at night.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
3rd April 2010ce
Edited 3rd April 2010ce

Comments (1)

Would be good to know what the inscription was .If it did use fatuous then good on ye Mrs Dawson . tiompan Posted by tiompan
3rd April 2010ce
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