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About Katherine Duncan
"Her life was a life of practical godliness and of cheerful trust in the Saviour. Often when she had seen her children in bed, and supposed that they were asleep, she was overheard by them, and particularly by her elder son, on her knees by their bed-side, earnestly praying that the Lord would be pleased to guide them through that world which she felt that she was herself soon to leave; that their lives might be devoted to His service upon earth ; and, finally, that they might be brought to His everlasting kingdom.
She died in 1774, of an attack of illness commencing with a cold which she caught when on a visit at Ferntower, near Crieff.
Her medical attendant, Dr. Willison, although himself an avowed unbeliever, emphatically declared that such a death-bed was enough to make one in love with death. It was another observation of the same physician, himself the son of the celebrated divine of the same name, and a melancholy example of his own remark, that grace was a very extraordinary moral phenomenon ; that there was no doubt either of its existence or of its influence, or of the fact that it ran in families ; but that it resembled certain constitutional diseases which are hereditary, and yet overleap particular generations. He was thus, in effect, bearing an unwilling testimony to the degenerating tendencies of our fallen and corrupt nature, as well as to the unfettered sovereignty and electing love of God. Shortly before she expired she was asked if she would like once more to see her children, but she declined, saying that it would only agitate her ; that she had been enabled implicitly to surrender them into the hands of God, and she would rather leave them there. Her faith was strong, not only for herself, but for them ; and that faith was not disappointed.
She was buried in her husband’s grave, at Lundic, in the burial place of the Duncans, next to the vault where the ashes of her brother, the great Admiral, now also repose. The church-yard is situated in a retired and romantic spot on the slope of one extremity of the Sidlaw range, just below the Hill of Lundie, from whose commanding summit the eye wanders over one of the most extensive and picturesque prospects of varied magnificence and beauty. The Carse of Gowrie on the one side, and Strathmore on the other, with an array of castles, towns, churches, plantations, lakes, and streams, are bounded to the east by the ocean, to the south by the Lowland hills, and to the north-west by the wooded mountains of Dunkeld, Athol, and Braemar.