"Kingussie is an old name; it is found written Kinguscy as early as the beginning of the twelfth century. This place-name is a memorial of the time when the district stood at the head of the great pine forest of Strathspey, of which a remnant is still found at Rothiemurchus, Glenmore, and Abernethy. The Celtic scholar MacBain gives the original form as Cinn Ghiùthsaich – Head of the Pine Forest. Across the Spey from Kingussie is Ruthven Castle; near it is the site of Gordon Hall, the residence of the Gordon lords of Badenoch when Ruthven Castle, their former seat, became a barracks." – Seton Gordon, 1951
The barracks were built after the Jacobite rising of 1715, and in the second rising they were captured by a Jacobite force equipped with artillery, early in 1746. After the defeat at Culloden in the spring of that year, part of the Jacobite army retreated here with the intention of fighting on, but were given the order by by Prince Charles to scatter and look after themselves.
One of those caught up in the struggle was the mathematician Colin Maclaurin. He was a professor at Edinburgh University, and took on the task of superintending the city's defences against the advance of the Prince's army in 1745. After the Highland army swept in to Edinburgh, Maclaurin fled south to York, but a fall from his horse, combined with cold and fatigue, wore down his health and he died on his return north.
Maclaurin was himself a Highlander, born in 1698 in Kilmodan, Argyll, where his father was the minister of the local church at Glendaruel. He went to
Maclaurin's ability to understand
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