James Richard Haig of Blairhill, near Rumbling Bridge, was a noted country gentleman with links to nearby Muckhart.

On Thursday, January 23, 1896, he died aged 64 due to a heart condition which was being treated by Dr William Spence of Dollar.

Haig had been born on December 28, 1831, the son of David Haig of Glen Ogle and his wife Elizabeth Price.

He was the male heir to the Haigs of Bemersyde near Melrose in the Scottish Borders and was a direct descendant of the disreputable laird James Haig of Bemersyde in the 17th century.

Always happy to donate to worthy causes, he gave coal and other gifts at Christmas which were greatly appreciated by the poor, the aged and the infirm in the district of Muckhart.

He was a Justice of the Peace and a member of Kinross County Council. In addition to this, he was also a member of the Muckhart Parish Council and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

In 1874, and 1880, he unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary seat of the United Counties of Clackmannan and Kinross for the Conservative Party.

Nonetheless, he was so well thought of for all the work he did for the party that a banquet was held in his honour at Rumbling Bridge on June 9, 1881.

At the dinner he was presented with his portrait, painted by Norman McBeth, ‘by the Conservatives of Clackmannan and Kinross, in acknowledgement of his services in promoting the Conservative cause within the Counties’.

Although he never stood again, he remained interested in his party and politics but was never prominent.

Until his death, he took an interest in the country’s home and foreign policies and in the government of the day.

Haig was well travelled, having spent time abroad, and well read.

However, having left his political career behind, more of his time was spent putting his efforts into the Parish Church at Muckhart, having been a strong supporter of the Established Church all his life, and was a keen subscriber to local clubs and charities.

News of Haig’s death saddened many in the village as he had played such a prominent role in its affairs.

Haig’s wife Jane Thomson pre-deceased him, having died in 1877 aged 38. His funeral took place on Monday, January 27, at Blairhill House and he was buried alongside his wife and other family members.

The 31-year-old Alexander Price Haig, his eldest son, who lived in Inverness at the time of his father’s death, succeeded him.