Alexander Smith picks a fight, 1860
by John Dye

The report below comprises transcribed handwritten material from the office of the Procurator Fiscal of Tobermory, currently held in the Argyll Archive at Lochgilphead.

Alexander Smith from Island Shona, got drunk at the Shielbridge Inn and broke four windows. He also broke a table and a chair and assaulted John McDonald and Angus McDonald. He was reported to the police and fined ten shillings and sixpence after pleading guilty.

The owner of Shielbridge Inn at this date was James Dalgleish and the Innkeeper was William Johnston.


The police outline the case against Alexander Smith

Police Report, Assault and Malicious Mischief

Alexander Smith, son of and residing with Alexander Smith, Crofter, Island Shona, Parish of Ardnamurchan and County of Inverness is charged with the crime of Assault and Malicious Mischief in so far as that upon the 28 day of December 1860, he broke four windows in the Shiel Bridge Inn, in the Parish of Ardnamurchan and County of Argyle, the property of James Dalgleish Esq. and in possession of William Johnston, Innkeeper there and the said Alexr. Smith broke a chair and table belonging to the said William Johnston and assaulted John McDonald, son of and residing with Angus McDonald, Crofter, Barrmore, Island Shona in the Parish of Ardnamurchan and County of Inverness

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Witnesses give evidence that Smith was quarrelsome and started to strike out, hitting John McDonald first

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with William Johnston, Inn Keeper, Shiel Bridge in the Parish of Ardnamurchan and County of Argyle, states:

Alexander Smith came to Shiel Bridge Inn on Friday 28th day of December 1860 along with others and was not long in the house when he began to quarrel with any person that came in his way. He was making noise and offering to fight John McDonald and others in the room where he broke a chair and table. He then went out and seized hold of John McDonald, son of Angus McDonald, Island Shona, and put him down in the door of the Inn whereby his foot was sprained severely and no being able to move he said it was Smith that did it.

After going outside briefly, Smith was locked out of the Inn, but retaliated by breaking four windows

The said Alexander Smith was left our and the door bolted, he then went round the house and broke four windows in the house and came to the door and forced it open and forced his way into the room, where Alexander

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In to the room. I then left and when out at the door he seized hold of me and tripped me but couldn't do me much injury. I was cut above the eye and it bled a great deal. I heard the noise of the windows breaking but did not see him break them. John Johnston, son of William Johnston saw him break the chairs.

Constable Cameron reported that Angus McDonald was also hit by Smith

Angus McDonald, Barrmore, Island Shona in the Parish of Ardnamurchan and County of Inverness, says:

I was hurt by the above Alexander Smith,
but declines giving evidence.
Duncan Cameron, Constable, Strontian,
8 January 1861


Alexander Smith was sentenced to a fine or imprisonment

Jany. 21 1861 Tried Summarily
Plea Guilty
Sentence - 10/6 fine or 10 days imprisonment