In March 1854, during the Crimean War, the Dumbarton Herald printed a letter from a Paisley man who recollected an incident from his youth. Around 1819 he had climbed Ben Lomond with friends. On the way back over Loch Lomond to Luss, he made the following observation –
“On our voyage homeward, in Andrew’s yawl, we observed a couple of gay painted boats, the rowers clad in tartan, with feathers in their bonnets, landing a number of gentlemen on the Deer Island (Inchlonaig). On inquiry we were informed that among them were the Grand Duke Michael and Nicholas of Russia, paying a friendly visit to the Duke of Montrose. A tall figure was pointed out to me as one of the sons of Alexander…”
That “tall figure” was to become Tsar Nicolas the First, Emperor of Russia, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland. He led Russia to defeat in the Crimean War.