Valentine White - Factor at Cawdor

Personal data
Name
Valentine White
Date of birth (prefix)
abt.
Born 1717
Died 1784
Biography

A welshman who, in the second half of the 18th century, served for several years as factor of the estate of Cawdor/Calder between Nairn and Inverness, on behalf of its owner, John Campbell of Stackpole Court and Cawdor (1695-1777), MP and the last hereditary Sheriff of Nairn. 

Several pages in George Bain's History of Nairnshire (1893) are dedicated to White's factorship of Cawdor and his correspondence with his laird.1

Life with Boswell

Boswell and Dr Johnson met White at the Manse of Cawdor between Nairn and Inverness on August 27, 1773. White invited them to his home, but they had not time to accept. He provided them with an introduction to Mr Fern, master of stores at Fort George, one of the next stops on their journey through Scotland.

White later informed his employer, John Campbell, the laird of Calder, who himself lived in Stackpole, Wales, about his meeting with the two famous visitors. The laird wrote back, that "The weakness of Mr Boswell, in regard to the foolish and absurd stories which abound in the Highlands, and indeed in all very remote and lonely places, amazes me. Mr Johnson is a learned and ingenious man, and his Dictionary a useful book ; but there are some things in it which, I fancy, he now wishes were not there. For instance the articles on ' oats ' and ' excise/ which are both silly and impertinent ; and I observed two or three things in Mr Boswell's books which I thought wrong ; but no man is or can be without failings."1

  • 1 Cf. George Bain's History of Nairnshire (1893), p. 371